Sentencing memo: Manafort ‘repeatedly and brazenly’ broke the law

Paul Manafort. Photo: Instagram

Feb. 24 (UPI) — Prosecutors from special counsel Robert Mueller’s office laid out the case for a long prison sentence for Paul Manafort because he “repeatedly and brazenly” broke the law before, during and after he served as President Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, according to a sentencing memo.

The memo, which is more than 800 pages with attachments, was filed Friday in the D.C. District Court but was not released until a day later for review and redactions.

The prosecutors didn’t recommend a specific amount of prison time but warned that 69-year-old Manafort, who is currently incarcerated in another case because he violated his bail terms by attempting to contact witnesses, “presents a grave risk of recidivism.”

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson is scheduled to sentence Manafort on March 13, and federal sentencing guidelines suggest Manafort get between 17 and nearly 22 years of incarceration.

On March 8, Manafort is scheduled be sentenced by District Judge T.S. Ellis III in Alexandria, Va., for eight felonies related to tax and bank-fraud charges. Federal prosecutors, also member of Mueller’s office, in this case have told that judge he should face up to 25 years in prison.

In the D.C. case, prosecutors also have outlined a host of crimes for which he is not charged beyond the two conspiracy counts.

“Based on his relevant sentencing conduct, Manafort presents many aggravating sentencing factors and no warranted mitigating factors,” according to the memo.

“Manafort committed an array of felonies for over a decade, up through the fall of 2018. Manafort chose repeatedly and knowingly to violate the law — whether the laws proscribed garden-variety crimes such as tax fraud, money laundering, obstruction of justice and bank fraud, or more esoteric laws that he nevertheless was intimately familiar with, such as the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). His criminal actions were bold, some of which were committed while under a spotlight due to his work as the campaign chairman and, later, while he was on bail from this Court.”

The prosecutors added the “crimes he engaged in while on bail were not minor; they went the heart of the criminal justice system, namely, tampering with witnesses so he would not be held accountable for his crimes. Even after he purportedly agreed to cooperate with the government in September 2018, Manafort, as this court found, lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, this office, and the grand jury.”

And the crimes extended to members of Congress and the executive branch. The prosecutors’ list included tax preparers, bookkeepers, banks, the Treasury Department, the Department of Justice National Security Division, the grand jury, his own legal counsel.

In September, Manafort pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy witness tampering. Manafort also admitted money laundering and foreign lobbying crimes that encompassed his work for Ukrainian politicians and other clients.

He had agreed to cooperate with the federal authorities.

“Manafort’s conduct after he pleaded guilty is pertinent to sentencing,” the prosecutors wrote. “It reflects a hardened adherence to committing crimes and lack of remorse.”


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