The Manhattan district attorney's office is expected to bring charges against Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, to ensure he gets prison time should the president decide to pardon him, The New York Times reported on Friday. 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.
It reads, "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". Prosecutors say Manafort "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".
Citing Manafort's lies to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, several government agencies and his own lawyer, prosecutors said that "upon release from jail, Manafort presents a grave risk of recidivism". Manafort, who is nearly 70, is nearly guaranteed to spend the rest of his life behind bars given the sentence he's facing.
Manafort, 69, pleaded guilty in the special counsel's investigation September 14, 2018, on charges related to political consulting he did in Ukraine.
Prosecutors accused the 69-year-old of lying on five separate topics, including a freaky $125,000 payment, attempts to shield his Russian-Ukrainian associate Konstantin Kilimnik, a separate DOJ investigation, and alleged ongoing contacts with the Trump administration after his October 2017 indictment. That deception voided the plea deal.
Observers of the special counsel's probe hoped the prosecutors would lay out new evidence about Manafort's work during the campaign, including his interactions with Konstantin Kilimnik, a former Manafort business associate who has links to Russian intelligence, or other Trump campaign officials.
However, it argued that there are "many aggravating sentencing factors and no warranted mitigating factors" in Manafort's conduct, a recommendation that increases the likelihood that the once-wealthy political consultant will spend the rest of his life behind bars. Well, after all of Manafort's admitted and alleged crimes are taken into account, the federal sentencing guidelines recommend between 17-and-half and just shy of 22 years in prison. It was publicly released Saturday after a judge had a chance to review and approve proposed redactions of sensitive information.
Of particular interest to prosecutors in their questioning of Manafort was a meeting at the Grand Havana Room - a Manhattan cigar club that hosted Manafort, Kilimnik, and Rick Gates for an August 2, 2016 summit. The meeting involved a discussion of a Ukrainian peace plan, but prosecutors haven't said exactly what has attracted their attention and whether it factors into the Kremlin's attempts to help Mr. Trump in the 2016 election.