Lessons from Mueller’s memo

The news reports have it that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s sentencing memo in the case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is 800 pages long. In reality, it’s 25 pages plus exhibits. The sentencing memo has been filed in the case against Manafort pending before Judge Amy Berman Jackson in the Washington, D.C. federal district court. I have embedded the sentencing memo as redacted and made public yesterday afternoon below. The attachments are listed on page 3.

There is of course another case against Manafort pending before Judge Ellis in federal district court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Manafort was tried and convicted of eight felony counts involving financial improprieties before Judge Ellis. His sentencing in that case is set for March 8 and in the D.C. case for March 13 (mnemonic assistance per CNBC).

Now as I recall Paul Manafort was the guy with the Ukrainian/Russian connections. They bear on his work for Ukraine and several of the other offenses at issue in the D.C. case. He should have steered clear of the Trump campaign and continued on his merry way. If he had done so, he would probably be a free man today.

The crimes of which Manafort has been convicted have nothing to do with the Trump presidential campaign. There was nevertheless some overlap in his course of conduct with the time he served as campaign chairman. “His criminal actions were bold,” according to the memo, and some “were committed while under a spotlight due to his work as the campaign chairman…”

Despite Manafort’s multifarious criminal activity, he could still be at large if only he had avoided the Trump campaign. The spotlight can be a killer. I see an unedifying lesson here, though it is not the one the Special Counsel wants to teach Manafort.

“For over a decade, Manafort repeatedly and 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,” the memo reads. “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.”

And yet, as President Trump might put it, as far as we can tell, there is no “collusion” with Russian organs involving the Trump presidential campaign anywhere in the 800 pages filed by the Special Counsel with Judge Jackson yesterday.

Via Caitlin Yilek & Allison Elyse Gualtieri/Washington Examiner

Manafort Legal Filing by on Scribd

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