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Tag: paul manafort

Ex-Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe Shocked by Manafort’s ‘Lenient’ Sentence

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that he was stunned by the “incredibly lenient sentence”  ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort received in Alexandria, Va. last Thursday.

“Well, I was really surprised by the sentence he was given,” McCabe told Face the Nation. “I think it was an incredibly lenient sentence.”

“Like most people, I was shocked,” he added.

Manafort got 47-months in prison, far short of the 19-24 years suggested in sentencing guidelines.

Ex-Detroit U.S. Attorney on Manfort’s Sentence: ‘It Reflects The Class and Racial Disparities That Exist In The Criminal-Justice System’

U.S. Attorney McQuade

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — Outrage is voiced about a 47-month prison sentence for former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, whose federeal penalty for bank and insurance frauds falls far short of the 19-24 years suggested in sentencing guidelines. U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III on Thursday called the guidelines “vindictive” and “way out of whack.”

But ex-Detroit U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, who now teaches law at the University of Michigan, sees something far more troubling than the judge did. She thinks class and racism are at play, and that Manafort may have benefited from being a privileged white guy.

She writes in The Daily Beast:

In the case of Manafort, I believe that the drastic variance from the guidelines range has little to do with Manafort’s connections to Trump, though Judge Ellis openly expressed hostility to the special counsel and its prosecution of Manafort throughout the case. Instead, I think it reflects the class and racial disparities that exist in the criminal-justice system.

As a former federal prosecutor, I have often seen white-collar defendants receive sentences below the calculated guidelines range. This practice sends a terrible message that wealthy and powerful defendants are treated differently than other defendants. I didn’t see many drastic drops from the guidelines in sentences for indigent defendants.

During his sentencing hearing, the closest Manafort came to contrition was saying that he felt shame and suggesting he had already been punished. This is a common trope from white-collar crime defendants, who suggest that they don’t need to go to prison because their loss of income and status in the community is punishment enough. They submit letters of support that their expensive lawyers have billed many hours gathering from prominent people to praise their good works.

Indigent defendants, on the other hand, don’t receive leniency because they have suffered harm to their status in their community. Their overworked court-appointed lawyers don’t have the resources to collect letters, nor do the defendants know the kinds of prominent people who might persuade a judge to impose a lower sentence. We fill our prisons for lengthy periods of incarceration with disadvantaged people with few economic opportunities, but defendants whose crimes are motivated by nothing more than greed are the ones who get a break. The sentence imposed by Judge Ellis appears to reflect that tendency.

Could Mueller Drop A Bomb in Manafort Case By Midnight Friday?

Paul Manafort jail mugshot.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Mueller probe has produced endless streams of intriguing information.

Can there be more to come on Friday?

The Mueller team is set to to file a sentencing memorandum in U.S. District Court in D.C. in the Paul Manafort case before midnight Friday, CNN reports. Sentencing is set for March 13.

The network reports prosecutors could outline all the juicy facts in the case including Manafort’s criminal business schemes, his attempt to reach out to key contacts after his arrest and the lies he told to prosecutors and a grand jury after he agreed to cooperate with the Mueller investigation.

Former Trump Campaign Boss Manafort Denies Lying to Robert Mueller’s Team

Paul Manafort’s mugshot

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Lawyers for Paul Manafort, the convicted former campaign boss for President Trump, claimed Wednesday that Robert Mueller’s prosecutors have unfairly accused him of lying to them after he entered a plea deal.

Mueller’s team has alleged Manafort breached his plea agreement by lying to prosecutors about his contacts with Trump administration officials and his interactions with Konstantin Kilimnik, who has alleged ties to Russian intelligence.

Manafort’s attorneys argued in a court filing that Mueller failed to show that Manafort “intentionally provided false information.”

Manafort, 69, has been in solitary confinement and faces sentencing in two different cases.

Accidental Reveal of Manafort’s Interactions with Russians Raises Prospect of Collusion

Paul Manafort’s mugshot

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

One of the most revealing details of Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russia was made public this week by accident.

In a court filing, lawyers for Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign boss, made a redaction error that revealed their client’s relationship with a Russian-linked operative named Konstantin Kilimnik.

During the campaign, Manafort met with Kilimnik and discussed “a Ukraine peace plan” and shared inside polling data.   

So what’s the big deal?

It’s the first strong indication that Mueller’s team has evidence of possible collision between Russia and Trump’s campaign. As the head of Trump’s campaign, Manafort was communicating with Kilimnik, a suspected Russian intelligence agent who was indicted by Mueller’s team on obstruction of justice charges.

Manafort also urged Kilimnik to pass the data to Russian oligarch Oleg V. Deripaska, who has claimed Manafort was in debt to him over a failed business, The New York Times reported

Just this month, the Department of Treasury lifted sanctions against Deripaska’s aluminum company.

The poorly redacted documents also contradict Trump’s repeated claims that Mueller has no proof of possible collusion.

Only time will tell whether Mueller has enough evidence of collusion.

Russian in Trump Tower Meeting Charged in Case That Reveals Close Ties to Kremlin

Trump Tower

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The Russian lawyer who met with top Trump campaign aides at Trump Tower in 2016 was charged Tuesday in a money-laundering case that reveals her close ties to the Kremlin.

Federal prosecutors in New York charged Natalia V. Veselnitskaya with obstruction of justice in a U.S. money-laundering case involving Yury Chaika, a wealthy Russian businessman connected to the Trump Tower meeting, The New York Times and Guardian report.

The June 2016 meeting was prompted by a representative close to the Kremlin who told Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., that Chaika could provide incriminating information about Hillary Clinton.

The meeting has become a focus of Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation into possible collusion between Russia and Trump’s campaign in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election. Attending the meeting were top campaign aides, Trump Jr., Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, who has been convicted of crimes in unrelated cases.

Although the case against Veselnitskaya is unrelated to the Trump Tower meeting, the indictment reveals how closely she is connected to the Russian government.

Manafort May No Longer Challenge Mueller’s Allegations That He Lied to Prosecutors

Paul Manafort’s mugshot

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

After insisting Paul Manafort did not lie to special counsel Robert Mueller’s team as part of a plea deal, attorneys for the former campaign chief for Donald Trump may no longer contest allegations that Manafort provided false information.

Manafort’s attorney Richard Westling met with Mueller’s team Tuesday before saying in federal court that “the certainty of the hearing is less clear,” Huffington Post and other media outlets reported.

Mueller rescinded the plea deal with Manafort in late November, saying he violated the plea deal by lying to prosecutors.

Manafort has until Jan. 7 to decide whether to contest the allegations that he lied. 

Manafort, who was found guilty in August of eight criminal charges lodged by Mueller, is set to be sentenced on March 5.

He faces more jail time for allegedly lying to prosecutors.

Manafort Reportedly Met Secretly with Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange

Julian Assange on Fox News

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman for Donald Trump, met secretly with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Sources told the Guardian that Manafort met Assange in 2013, 2015 and in the spring of 2016, which is when Manafort joined the Trump campaign.

Manafort denied the meetings took place.

“I have never met Julian Assange or anyone connected to him,” Manafort said in a statement. “I have never been contacted by anyone connected to WikiLeaks, either directly or indirectly. I have never reached out to Assange or WikiLeaks on any matter.”

Special counsel prosecutors are likely to be interested in the 2016 meeting because several months later Wikileaks dumped a trove of damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

What’s unclear is what the meetings involved.

Manafort, who is in solitary confinement at a prison in Virginia, could receive more time behind bars after Robert Mueller’s special counsel team said he repeatedly lied to the FBI, even after striking a deal to cooperate with prosecutors.