Paul Manafort’s weekend is getting even worse now that he may face state charges for prior criminal activity. The new sentencing memorandum that the office of special counsel just released yesterday lays out a career of crime that did not stop, even as Manafort was in a cooperation agreement with the government. The special counsel’s sentencing guidelines would effectively keep Manafort behind bars for the rest of his life.
By: Paul Rublin
President Donald Trump could still pardon his former campaign chair, but the New York Times reports that District Attorney Cyrus Vance plans to hit Manafort with criminal charges, from which Manafort could not be pardoned. The district attorney has to be careful with the specific charges because Manafort has already been tried and either convicted or pleaded guilty to a number of felonies. Manafort cannot be tried twice for the same crime because of double jeopardy. The New York Times adds that Manafort should expect charges from New York State regardless of any presidential pardons for federal crimes to which he pleaded guilty or was found guilty.
Vance and his office are looking at some property loans that Manafort made that appear to be illegal, Reuters reports. Now that investigators have a roadmap to follow thanks to the work done by the special counsel, they can use information gathered about his past crimes to try and piece together how these alleged crimes fit into the equation and how they would follow the money trail.
It’s unclear though if prosecutors would be permitted to use any of Manafort’s past crimes and lies to the Justice Department against him in a court of law. Reuters reporting gives some possible clues to what investigators may be looking at because subpoenas were sent out last year to some lenders like Federal Savings Bank of Chicago. Manafort has been convicted before of lying to his accountants and banks in order to get loans or in order to launder money by calling it a loan.
It is unclear whether Vance will pursue charges over the loans. A spokesman for Vance declined to comment.
Most of the former lobbyist’s convictions related to “garden variety” financial crimes, according to the sentencing memorandum filed by the special counsel last Friday. The special counsel asked for the filing to be under seal, which is why the public didn’t get to see the memorandum until Saturday, when a redacted version was filed. For his criminal convictions in Virginia, he will be sentenced on March 8 and could be hit with both a $24 million fine and 24 years behind bars.
Manafort also faces sentencing in Washington on more convictions that the special counsel got on the former campaign chair. These were the crimes to which Manafort pleaded guilty on the conditions that he be able to cooperate with the government for a reduced sentence. Manafort broke the terms of his deal by lying and even doing so repeatedly.
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