Mueller tells judge that Manafort ‘brazenly’ broke the law

Mueller tells judge that Manafort ‘brazenly’ broke the law

Mueller tells judge that Manafort ‘brazenly’ broke the law

Moments ago the Special Counsel filed an 800-page sentencing memorandum for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Manafort was charged with conspiracy to defraud the US, failing to register as a foreign agent, money laundering, witness tampering and making false statements.

The recommendation from Mueller, who is investigating Russia's role in the 2016 USA election and whether Trump's campaign conspired with Moscow, increases the likelihood that Manafort will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

"The sentence in this case must take into account the gravity of this conduct, and serve both to specifically deter Manafort and generally deter those who would commit a similar series of crimes", Mueller writes.

Mueller cited his office's practice of not recommending a specific prison time or financial penalty, instead laying out in exacting detail the nature of Manafort's criminal offenses, including illegal foreign lobbying, witness tampering, and tax fraud.

That will likely include Manafort's criminal business schemes, his attempt to reach out to key contacts after his arrest and the lies he told to prosecutors and a grand jury after he agreed to cooperate with the Mueller investigation. Co-conspirators, Manafort said, were his long-time colleagues Rick Gates, who is still cooperating with Mueller, and Konstantin Kilimnik, whom prosecutors say is connected to Russian intelligence and who is at the heart of their inquiry.

Manafort's admission of the conspiracy charges in Washington secured him a plea deal Mueller later scrapped after Manafort continued lying.

"Manafort committed an array of felonies for over a decade, up through the fall of 2018", the memo says.

"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", Mueller's memo reads. Federal guidelines in that case call for him to spend roughly 19 to 24 years in prison.

Although serious, none of Manafort's convictions relate to so-called "collusion" between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

Friday's sealed filing, an unredacted version of which was published Saturday, helps pave the way for his sentencings in D.C. and Virginia scheduled for next month, as Robert S. Mueller III begins wrapping up his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Judge T.S. Ellis, who oversaw Manafort's trial in Alexandria, Virginia, will sentence him on March 8. He will be followed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who will decide on March 13 how much of the 10-year statutory maximum to give Manafort in the Washington case and whether her sentence will run concurrent or consecutive to his punishment in Virginia. "'Justice" took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to "break" - make up stories in order to get a "deal.' Such respect for a fearless man!"

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