Published: Sun, February 24, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

Prosecutors say Manafort's 'criminal actions were bold' in redacted sentencing memo

Prosecutors say Manafort's 'criminal actions were bold' in redacted sentencing memo

But as both former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and USA Today's Brad Heath have noted, the sentencing guidelines referenced are far in excess-almost double-what Judge Jackson can actually sentence Manafort to under the statutory maximum sentence. "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".

The lengthy document describes lies told to everyone from Manafort's own bookkeepers and lawyers to Federal Bureau of Investigation and congressional officials-proving his "hardened adherence to committing crimes".

"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 out on bail from this Court".

Jackson found Manafort broke the agreement after he lied about his interactions with Konstantin Kilimnik, who has also been indicted by the special counsel and whom the Federal Bureau of Investigation believes has ties to Russian intelligence.

The prosecutors didn't recommend a specific amount of prison time but warned the 69-year-old Manaford, who is now incarcerated in another case because he violated his bail terms by attempting to contact witnesses, "presents a grave risk of recidivism".

Saturday's filing related to Manafort's upcoming sentencing for two counts of criminal conspiracy he admitted last September.

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The memo is also expected to recommend a potential sentence for Manafort, President Trump's former campaign manager.

Manafort's is set to be sentenced March 8 in Virginia and March 13 in Washington. Prosecutors said they'll reserve the right to ask Jackson to run the two sentences consecutively.

Manafort faces up to 25 years in prison.

A senior U.S. Justice Department official said on Friday that Mueller will not deliver a long-awaited final report next week, amid expectations that the document was imminent. Although Manafort has already been convicted of multiple federal crimes, state criminal cases are not subject to presidential pardons and Trump would not be able to use his executive power to free Manafort if he's found guilty.

If state prosecutors in NY bring charges against Manafort, however, it would provide a bulwark against a pardon. State prosecutors had begun investigating Manafort as early as 2017, The New York Times reported, but put their work on hold until recent months in order not to interfere with Mueller's probe. Jackson ruled that the special counsel was "no longer bound by its obligations" under the plea agreement.

In recent weeks, court papers have revealed that Manafort shared polling data related to the Trump campaign with an associate the Federal Bureau of Investigation says has ties to Russian intelligence.

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