More than a year after special counsel Robert Mueller secured an 18- count indictment against Paul Manafort on charges related to tax and bank scams, the previous campaign chairman for President Donald Trump will deal with the very first of his two sentencing hearings on Thursday afternoon.
A Virginia-based jury discovered Manafort, 69, guilty on 8 of those counts after a prolonged trial in August, setting the stage for a substantial prison term.
In court documents filed last month, the unique counsel’s office concurred with the findings of an independent pre-sentence report, which determined that Manafort’s criminal offenses called for a jail sentence of as much as 25 years.
But Manafort’s future eventually depends on the hands of U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis, who will level a sentence Thursday afternoon after speaking with a flurry of court documents submitted in recent weeks by both Mueller’s workplace and Manafort’s defense team.
The special counsel is looking for a sentence that “shows the seriousness of these criminal activities,” which prosecutors defined as “longstanding and strong,” according to court files submitted last month. In action, defense counsel for Manafort sought a term “significantly below” sentencing guidelines, citing their client’s age and health.
Regardless of Ellis’ decision, Manafort’s legal travails are far from over. He deals with another sentencing next week in Washington. He pleaded guilty to those additional charges from the special counsel in September.
Manafort, a long time lobbyist and Republican political operative, was Trump’s campaign chairman from May to August2016
If sentenced to jail, Manafort’s previous boss might be his conserving grace. In November, Trump told the New York Post that though a pardon for Manafort had never ever been discussed, he “wouldn’t take it off the table.”