Mueller recommends no leniency for Manafort
by Harvest Prude
Posted 2/25/19, 12:34 pm
WASHINGTON—Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort “repeatedly and brazenly” broke the law for years, according to a sentencing memo special counsel Robert Mueller’s office released to the public on Saturday. Manafort pleaded guilty in September to two counts of conspiracy for his work as an unregistered political lobbyist for Ukraine. Prosecutors did not specify how much prison time Manafort should serve but advised against granting him leniency. He faces up to 10 years in prison on the charges.
The memo, filed last week in federal court, gives a laundry list of crimes attributed to Manafort, including tax fraud, money laundering, obstruction of justice, and bank fraud, along with crimes related to his lobbying work. Outside of prison, he presents a “grave risk of recidivism,” the memo said. Manafort was initially placed on house arrest in October 2017, but a judge ordered him to jail in June 2018 after prosecutors accused him of witness tampering.
In a separate case in Virginia, Manafort faces a potential sentence of 19 to 24 years for bank and tax fraud. Manafort’s attorneys will file a sentencing recommendation in that case next week.
Meanwhile, Mueller’s office is expected to conclude its probe into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election in the coming weeks, teeing up a fight about how much information lawmakers and the public will receive. The special counsel will submit the report outlining the investigation and his decisions to Attorney General William Barr, who will deliver a summary to Congress. Department of Justice guidelines do not require Barr to release the report to the public.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Sunday he was willing to subpoena the Department of Justice and Mueller to have the report released publicly. “We will take it to court if necessary,” he added.
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Harvest is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute and a reporter for WORLD.