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Mueller’s office rips Paul Manafort in sentencing memo as bold, brazen criminal

February 23, 2019

Paul Manafort, President Trump’s convicted former campaign chairman, should be punished appropriately for boldly and brazenly committing “an array of felonies for over a decade,” special counsel Robert Mueller’s office argued Saturday.

In a 25-page court filing, the special counsel’s office argued Manafort, 69, failed to demonstrate any reason he deserves less than the roughly 17 to 22 years in prison recommended under federal sentencing guidelines.

“Based on his relevant sentencing conduct, Manafort presents many aggravating sentencing factors and no warranted mitigating factors,” Mr. Mueller’s team wrote.

“The sentence in this case must take into account the gravity of his conduct, and serve both to specifically deter Manafort and generally deter those who would commit a similar series of crimes,” the filing said.

Entered in D.C. federal court, the sentencing memorandum summarizes Manafort’s criminal conduct ahead Judge Amy Berman Jackson deciding on an appropriate punishment for the former lobbyist who briefly led Mr. Trump’s campaign.

“Manafort chose repeatedly and knowingly to violate the lawwhether 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),” Mr. Mueller’s team wrote.

Manafort was convicted in August on eight financial crimes in Alexandria, Virginia, and Mr. Mueller’s team has suggested that he be sentenced in that case to up to 24 years in federal prison.

He subsequently resolved separate charges pending in D.C. by pleading guilty in September to conspiracy against the U.S. and conspiracy to conduct witness tampering, prompting the special counsel’s office to file the sentencing memorandum entered Saturday afternoon with Judge Jackson.

Despite pleading guilty and promising to cooperate with prosecutors, Manafort continued to break law as recently as while awaiting sentencing, said the special counsel’s office.

“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. And the crimes he engaged in while on bail were not minor; they went to 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 (FBI), this office, and the grand jury.”

“For over a decade, Manafort repeatedly and brazenly violated the law. His crimes continued up through the time he was first indicted in October 2017 and remarkably went unabated even after indictment. Manafort engaged in witness tampering while on bail and, even after he was caught for engaging in that scheme, Manafort committed the additional crimes of perjury and making false statements after he entered his guilty pleas herein,” Mr. Mueller’s team wrote.

Lawyers for Manafort are scheduled to file their own sentencing memorandum by February 25. He is scheduled to be sentenced in the Virginia and D.C. cases on March 8 and March 13, respectively.