Special counsel Robert Mueller has filed a whopping 800-page sentencing memo in one of his cases against former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort, which was unsealed Saturday after a judge allowed some parts of the filing to be redacted.
Federal prosecutors did not recommend a specific sentence for Manafort, but said in the memo that sentencing guidelines warrant between 17 and nearly 21 years in prison.
The sentencing memo from the special counsel could be among the final major developments in the Washington, D.C., federal court case before the former Trump campaign chairman is sentenced on March 13.
Manafort, 69, is due to be sentenced in a separate case brought by special counsel prosecutors in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, on March 8.
Both cases involve crimes connected to the millions of dollars Manafort earned from consulting work he performed in Ukraine for a pro-Russia political party before joining the Trump campaign.
Manafort was convicted in August on eight counts including tax and bank fraud in the Virginia case. He struck a plea bargain with the special counsel on the eve of his D.C. trial in September. The deal fell apart months later after he was accused of lying to investigators in breach of the deal.
He could potentially face decades in prison. The special counsel has already said in the Virginia case that under sentencing guidelines Manafort could face up to 24 years behind bars and pay up to tens millions of dollars in fines.
Meanwhile, authorities in New York are reportedly preparing to slap criminal charges on Manafort in anticipation of a possible pardon from Trump, who has railed against the special counsel for their treatment of his former campaign boss.
In August, Trump lamented in a tweet: “Looking back on history, who was treated worse, Alfonse Capone, legendary mob boss, killer and “Public Enemy Number One,” or Paul Manafort, political operative & Reagan/Dole darling, now serving solitary confinement – although convicted of nothing? Where is the Russian Collusion?”
Lawyers for Manafort are scheduled to file their own sentencing memo in the D.C. case on Feb. 25. They then face a March 1 deadline to submit sentencing documents in the Virginia case, at which point Mueller will have up to five days to respond.