Release of Memo in Mueller Probe Could Reveal New Details of Paul Manafort Case
Friday may be the day that special counsel Robert Mueller tells all in the long-running court saga of Paul Manafort’s prosecution.
Mueller’s sentencing memorandum is due to a federal judge in DC District Court before midnight Friday.
It is the last major requisite court filing in Mueller’s longest running case, a sprawling prosecution of the former Trump campaign manager that led investigators to gather exhaustive information about his hidden Cypriot bank accounts, Ukrainian political efforts in Europe and the US and into Manafort’s time on the 2016 presidential campaign.
Prosecutors are set to outline all facts they believe the judge should consider at his sentencing, now set for March 13. 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.
Often, in filings like these, prosecutors will pull together a complete retelling of the defendant’s crimes, convictions and cooperation. Details about Manafort’s cooperation have been especially guarded by prosecutors, since his interviews are a significant part of Mueller’s investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election.
Prosecutors will also likely suggest a range the judge could give him in prison time.
The memo Friday will cover the two charges Manafort pleaded guilty to in September, conspiracy against the US and conspiracy witness tampering, which he committed after he was arrested by trying to reach out to former colleagues.
At the time of his plea, he also admitted to a litany of money laundering and foreign lobbying crimes that encompassed his work for Ukrainian politicians and other clients over several years. 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.
The memo will also likely cover his and Kilimnik’s alleged contact with potential witnesses in his case after Manafort’s October 2017 arrest, and his lies about his interactions with Kilimnik in 2016 and other topics.
Previously, prosecutors said Manafort should face up to 25 years in prison and pay tens of millions of dollars for tax and bank fraud. Friday’s sentencing memo will speak to consequences that could pile on top of the those.
Manafort’s defense team has until Monday to file their own request for his sentence. He will be sentenced by federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson on March 13 in his DC case. Five days earlier, he’ll learn his sentence for the eight financial fraud convictions in the separate case in Virginia.
Manafort, who turns 70 in a month, has been jailed since June for the witness tampering.