Manafort, 69, was rolled into court in a wheelchair with his right foot in only a sock. His attorney Kevin Downing said in court there are “significant issues with Mr. Manafort’s health right now that have to do with his confinement.” Downing didn’t specify the ailment and later declined to take questions outside the courthouse.
Downing said the conditions of Manafort’s confinement are for his own safety. Alexandria Sheriff Dana Lawhorne, who runs the jail where Manafort is held, said Manfort has not raised any complaints about his housing situation and that inmates have full access to medical care.
Downing asked that Ellis expedite a pre-sentence investigation so Manafort could move out of local jail and presumably to federal prison.
Legal experts said Manafort is likely to face about seven to 10 years in prison. He also faces sentencing in a related case in the District, also brought by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.
Manafort’s criminal charges stem from his work as a strategist for a political party in Ukraine.
On Friday, Ellis asked prosecutors if his understanding was correct that they did know when Manafort’s cooperation would be complete.
“That’s correct, your honor,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Uzo Asonye.
“I’m not willing to go on endlessly,” Ellis said.
Under the deal in the D.C. case, the special counsel did not have to decide whether to prosecute Manafort on the 10 deadlocked Virginia charges until after Manafort was done cooperating. Ellis called that agreement “highly unusual” and told the special counsel to make a decision.
Prosecutors agreed to accept a dismissal of the counts and prepare for sentencing as long as it remains possible to refile the charges in the future. In court, Ellis said he was not sure whether they could legally raise those charges again.
The government also has been given the authority to begin to strip Manafort of illegal gains from tax evasion and lobbying violations, proceeds that total in the range of $15 million, unsealed court records indicate. A court order last week authorized the Justice Department to immediately begin seizing money and properties Manafort agreed to forfeit in the District case.
Those assets include Manafort’s Trump Tower condo in New York City and a home in the Hamptons, as well as the contents of bank and life insurance accounts.
Spencer S. Hsu contributed to this report.