Manafort pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy arising from his Ukrainian political consulting work and his efforts to tamper with witnesses. They are not taking a position about whether the sentence should run consecutively or concurrently with a separate punishment that Manafort faces in a bank and tax fraud case in Virginia.
A critical document that could spell out Paul Manafort's cooperation with special counsel Robert Mueller was not publicly filed before its midnight Friday deadline.
Mueller is investigating whether anyone in Trump's campaign conspired with Russians who interfered in the 2016 US elections.
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort talks to reporters on the floor of the Republican National Convention in 2016. His deceit, which is a fundamental component of the crimes of conviction and relevant conduct, extended to tax preparers, bookkeepers, banks, the Treasury Department, the Department of Justice National Security Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Special Counsel's Office, the grand jury, his own legal counsel, Members of Congress, and members of the executive branch of the United States government.
Manafort's crimes were "bold", and some "were committed while under a spotlight due to his work as the campaign chairman", attorneys from the Special Counsel's office wrote.
"And by choosing to leave the record where it stands - by choosing not to describe what the evidence shows regarding that August 2 meeting in this sentencing memo - Mueller has deviated from the approach he has taken in every other instance (including this one, as it pertains to Manafort's Ukrainian lobbying) where he had an opportunity to provide a speaking document", Wheeler noted.
Manafort's sentencing in the Virginia case is also scheduled for March. "Here, in a case where they legitimately considered charging Manafort with more false statements charges, they chose to keep precisely the kind of stuff they had disclosed in other false statements accusations secret". And, as with the exact range of sentencing, Mueller's team remains agnostic on this point-but has reserved the right to offer their opinion later on.
Manafort had agreed to cooperate with the Mueller investigation after initially pleading guilty.
Saturday's filing related to Manafort's upcoming sentencing for two counts of criminal conspiracy he admitted last September. The Mueller investigation is expected to wrap up in the coming weeks, but federal and state prosecutors are likely to continue pursuing a number of cases related to the probe. Mueller's office accused Manafort of "repeatedly and brazenly" violating the law. The judge this month ruled Manafort had breached the deal. Those contacts, prosecutors said in court, go "very much to the heart of what the special counsel's office is investigating".
"And if anyone would have been involved in a Russian Federation conspiracy in the Trump campaign, you would think it would have been Paul Manafort, the man who had all these Russian Federation connections", Dilanian continued. A Mueller prosecutor also said earlier this month that an August 2016 meeting between Manafort and Kilimnik goes to the "heart" of the Russian Federation probe.