Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman for Donald Trump, should serve a lengthy prison term for “bold” criminal actions that were orchestrated over more than a decade, special counsel prosecutors told a Washington federal judge in a court filing unsealed Saturday.
Manafort is set to be sentenced March 13 in Washington on charges that include two counts of conspiracy. The first count includes money laundering and failing to disclose his foreign lobbying work, and the second is related to witness tampering. Prosecutors said they support a guideline range between 17.5 years to 22 years in prison. Manafort, prosecutors said, is not entitled to any reduction in his sentence. The government did not present a single mitigating factor.
“His crimes continued up through the time he was first indicted in October 2017 and remarkably went unabated even after indictment,” prosecutors wrote in Saturday’s memo. “Manafort engaged in witness tampering while on bail and, even after he was caught for engaging in that scheme, Manafort committed the additional crimes of perjury and making false statements after he entered his guilty pleas herein. 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.”
Manafort’s defense lawyers are expected to file their sentencing memo on Monday.
Manafort was separately charged and convicted at trial in Virginia. In that case, the government has supported a sentence of 19.5 years to 24.5 years in prison. The government on Saturday did not take a position on whether the sentence Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia imposes on March 13 should run on top of, or concurrent with, the one that is imposed in Virginia on March 8.
Prosecutors said they will make a recommendation on whether the sentence should be consecutive or concurrent to charges he was convicted on in Virginia, once that sentence is imposed.
Manafort will also be sentenced on March 8 in Alexandria, Virginia, for financial fraud convictions. A federal jury there found Manafort guilty of eight counts of bank and tax fraud last year, following an August trial.
When Jackson does sentence Manafort, she will likely take into consideration one big factor: his violation of a plea agreement he struck with the special counsel’s office in September to head off his second trial. Jackson concluded last week that Manafort violated the terms of the agreement by lying to federal authorities during the course of his cooperation.
Under the deal, prosecutors had agreed to recommend that Manafort serve his two sentences concurrently. But Jackson freed prosecutors from that obligation.
Manafort’s attorneys will have to file their response to Jackson by Monday. But, at 69, the longtime lobbyist already faces the possibility he’ll spend the rest of his lifetime in prison.
Manafort has been locked up in Virginia jail since last summer, when Jackson revoked his bond amid allegations that he attempted to tamper with potential witnesses.
Read Mueller’s sentencing memo here: