Manafort asks the judge a sentence well below the maximum: filing in court


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former Trump campaign campaigner Paul Manafort's lawyers on Monday urged a federal judge in Washington to impose a "significantly lower" prison term than the legal 10-year maximum. , stating that he was remorseful for his health and degradation.

FILE PHOTO: Former Trump campaign director Paul Manafort appears in US District Court in Washington on June 15, 2018, for indictment of the third indictment against him. / Photo file

Manafort, 69, who is expected to be sentenced on March 13, pleaded guilty in a federal court in Washington last September for conspiracy against the United States – a charge that includes a range of behaviors ranging from money laundering to unregistered lobby on behalf of Ukraine's pro-Russian government – and plot to obstruct justice for attempting to touch witnesses.

He may be sentenced to a maximum of five years for each count, for a legal maximum of 10 years.

"We respectfully ask the court to impose a sentence

well below the maximum penalty provided by law in this case, "said Manafort's lawyers Monday night.

"Mr. Manafort has been severely punished, including the confiscation of most of his assets," added the lawyers. "Given his age and health problems, a considerable additional period of incarceration is likely to be to life imprisonment for the primary offender. "

Special counsel Robert Mueller said in a document filed on Saturday that Manafort had "repeatedly violated the law," saying he did not deserve clemency. [nL1N20I0CC]

Although Mueller did not recommend a specific sentence, he described Manafort as a "hardened" criminal who risked repeating criminal behavior when he was released from prison.

In November, although Manafort agreed to plead guilty and cooperate, Mueller's team accused Manafort of violating the agreement by repeatedly lying to prosecutors, including its relationship with a business partner related to intelligence services. Russian.

US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson decided earlier this month that Manafort had breached the contract.

Manafort's lawyers challenged Monday the fact that their client is considered a criminal shameless by prosecutors.

"This case does not involve murders, drug cartels, organized crime, Madoff Ponzi's ploy, or Enron's bankruptcy," they wrote.

Mueller is investigating allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election and on any collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump's campaign.

Russia denies attempting to interfere in the elections and Trump said his team was not colluding with Moscow.

In the case filed on Monday, Manafort's lawyers pointed out that their client had not been accused of colluding with Russia.

They also provided the judge with quotes from several witnesses, including Manafort's wife, Kathleen, and her daughter Andrea Shand, claiming that her father was "really a good man," "worthy of forgiveness".

He does not quote any letter from Manafort's other daughter, Jessica Manafort, who has since legally changed her last name to Bond.

Manafort is to be sentenced on March 8 in another case in Alexandria, Virginia. In that case, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines, in which he was convicted of financial crimes last year.

At Monday's filing, Manafort's lawyers asked the Washington judge to impose a concurrent sentence if he was sentenced to a jail term in both cases.

Report by Sarah N. Lynch and Eric Beech; Edited by Sonya Hepinstall and Peter Cooney

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