After months of public silence, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort spoke at his own sentencing hearing Thursday in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia in remarks that stressed the hardship the case had caused him and his family.
“To say I feel humiliated and ashamed would be a gross understatement,” Manafort told U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis. He said that the person he’d been described as in public was “not someone I recognized.”
While he repeatedly thanked the judge for presiding over a “fair trial,” his remarks expressed little in terms of remorse or regret over the crimes for which he was convicted.
He merely acknowledged that his “own conduct” brought him here, and promised to the judge, “I will never put myself in questionable circumstances in the future.”
Here are the prepared remarks of Manafort’s allocution pic.twitter.com/jDy1xVVGFO
— Tierney Sneed (@Tierney_Megan) March 8, 2019
U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis, later in the hearing, remarked upon the lack of apologetic sentiment.
“I was surprised that I did not hear you express regret for engaging in wrongful conduct,” the judge said.
Manafort spoke in an even tone from a wheelchair, wearing a green prison jumpsuit with “Alexandria inmate” on the back. Manafort’s hair was much grayer and he looked older than in previous courtroom appearances.
“I feel the punishment from this prosecution already,” he said, adding that his professional life was in “shambles.”
Manafort praised the “outpouring of support” he had received from friends, family and even strangers. He also claimed that his reflections in solitary confinement — where he had been placed for safety reasons — had led him to a desire to use his “notoriety” for something positive.
This post has been updated.