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BREAKING NEWS

Manafort faces up to 10 years in prison in second sentencing

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Image: Paul Manafort walks from Federal District Court
Paul Manafort outside Federal District Court in Washington on Oct. 30, 2017. -
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Alex Brandon AP file
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Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's onetime campaign chairman, faces up to 10 years in prison in his second and final round of sentencing on Wednesday.

Manafort, 69, appeared before Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington, D.C., federal court, where he pleaded guilty to two conspiracy charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller. He arrived in a wheelchair and wearing a dark suit.

Berman Jackson will decide if his sentence will be served concurrently or consecutively with the 47-month sentence he received last week in a Virginia federal court, which prompted criticism that his sentence was too light.

After the longtime political operative was convicted on eight felony fraud counts in his Virginia case, Manafort pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charges in the D.C. courtroom last September. He faced one count of participating in a conspiracy against the United States, which involved money laundering, tax fraud, failing to file Foreign Bank Account Reports, violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act, and lying and misrepresenting to the Department of Justice.

The second count, conspiracy to obstruct justice, is tied to his efforts to guide witness testimony after he was indicted in 2017.

Manafort and his legal team have a contentious relationship with Berman Jackson. She has often scolded his legal counsel for their conduct, enough so that Manafort's lead counsel, Kevin Downing, largely handed off arguments to another defense lawyer, Richard Westling. She also revoked Manafort's bail and sent him to jail last June after allegations of witness tampering surfaced.

"I cannot turn a blind eye to this," Jackson said at the time. "This isn't middle school, I can't take your phone."