It’s always interesting when “tough guy” white-collar criminals like former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort degenerate into whining, sniveling crybabies when the reality of prison sets in.
In court filings begging for leniency on Friday, ahead of
his sentencing next week, Manafort’s essentially pleaded: Boo-hoo, poor me. Evil Mueller is so unfair.
In his case in Virginia, where he will be sentenced on March
7 after being convicted
of tax fraud, failing to report foreign financial accounts, and bank fraud, defense
attorneys filed a memo arguing for a lighter sentence because he is a first-time
offender and in poor health. Friends and family submitted
letters of support. Sentencing guidelines call for 20-24 years in prison.
Similar to another memo filed earlier this week in another
case in Washington, DC, in which Manafort pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud
the United States, Manafort’s attorneys attempted to portray Special Counsel
Robert Mueller as an untempered bully who has gone beyond the parameters of his
mandate to investigate Russian collusion with the Trump campaign in attacking
the 2016 presidential elections.
“The Special Counsel’s attempt to vilify Mr. Manafort as a lifelong
and irredeemable felon is beyond the pale and grossly overstates the facts
before this Court,” Manafort’s attorneys wrote
to U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III. “The Special Counsel’s conduct comes
as no surprise, and falls within the government’s pattern of spreading
misinformation about Mr. Manafort to impugn his character in a manner that this
country has not experienced in decades.”
The memo added: “The cases that Special Counsel have brought
against Mr. Manafort have devastated him personally, professionally, and
financially. The charges and associated publicity have brought intense,
negative media coverage and scrutiny, have destroyed his career, and have
resulted in financial hardship for Mr. Manafort and his family.”
The memo also notes that Manafort has worked for four U.S.
presidents, and he “has spent a lifetime promoting democratic values and
assisting emerging democracies to adopt reforms necessary to become a part of Western
society.” If by “Western society” the lawyers mean a corrupt one, then yes, that’s probably true.
In the DC case, in which Manafort is scheduled to be
sentenced on March 13, U.S.
District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson reaffirmed on Friday that Manafort
his plea agreement with the government
by lying about his association with suspected Russian intelligence operative Konstantin
Kilimnik, CNN reported. That’s more bad news for Manafort that no amount of
attacking Mueller will alleviate. He faces up to 10 years in prison in that
Manafort, 69, has only been in jail for nine months while
awaiting sentencing. According to his attorneys, he’s not handling it very
From the memo filed in Virginia:
The conditions of Mr. Manafort’s incarceration have taken an even greater toll on his mental and emotional health…To ensure his safety, Mr. Manafort is confined to solitary confinement at the Alexandria Detention Center where he spends 21 hours a day locked in a cell alone. Family visitation time is limited to just two 30-minute visits per week; as a result, he meets more often with his legal team than his loved ones. He suffers from severe anxiety, panic attacks, and a constant feeling of claustrophobia while he is locked alone in his cell each day. These conditions of confinement were designed for violent offenders who pose risks to the safety of other inmates or jail personnel, or who are placed in solitary confinement as punishment for disciplinary infractions; they were surely not intended for the long-term confinement of a first-time white-collar offender of Mr. Manafort’s age and health.
Oh, cry me a river.