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Manafort’s Sentencing Memo, the saltiest of tears

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Posted on February 26 2019

 

Dear Mrs Judge: 

 

I is sadz, oh so sadz

 

I is for realz totes-magotes sorry

 

I is screwed. Bigly. Believe Me...

 

 

Why does it feel like Thursday? Over the weekend the government filed their sentencing memorandum. It was brutal. Prosecutors didn’t hold back, at all. Their memorandum was strident in tone  an  with surgical precision.  meticulously detailing the crimes. The Special Counsel’s Office (SCO) sentencing memorandm was absolutely brutal. The SCO’s offers zero mitigating factors for the Judge to potentially  consider during sentencing. They actually carved out Manafort’s prior acts that resulted in his remand and multiple superseding indictments.. Again Jidges can and do factor in a defendant’s prior acts. Which is why I’m emphasizing  page 3, section III (C) Post-Plea Conduct.You can the SCO’s entire filing found on this entry here 

 

And now it’s Manafort’s turn at the plate. Swing for the fences Paul. You got this. I sort of believe you. I mean what does Manafort really have to lose at this point? Paul Manafort filed his 86 page sentencing memorandum, open source link can be found here.

I rarely convey my opinion when I’m analyzing a filing.  I might have to diverge from my normal protocol with respect to this filing. As a matter of standard practice, I typically just give you what’s written and allow you draw your own conclusions based on facts.

However I am going to break protocol because Manafort’s opening paragraph is freaking bonkers. As in you do not come out of the gantry acting like the Government Prosecutors, Probation Office or even imply that the aforementioned “sentencing range” is off the mark. This is what you could describe as a mix of arrogance and puffery, stirred with “privileged upbringing”...

U.S. Probation Office has calculated, under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines  a sentencing range of 188 to 235 months in prison.

The two counts of conviction, however, carry a statutorily authorized maximum term of imprisonment of 60 months as to each Count.

 

 

What Manafort’s legal team is attempting to do is use a myopic view of the Conspiracy Statute 18 USC §371 as if that’s the only crime that Manafort pleaded to. They are threading a really tight needle to the point it’s intellectually dishonest.

 

Manafort incorrectly states he pled to two counts of Conspiracy. On its face yes that’s marginally true but upon closer inspection you do understand that writing a pleading within the vacuum of a Now voided Plea Deal isn’t the best optics, right?

Yes that’s what in the plea deal but whereas the SCO’s own sentencing memo there were numerous underlying crimes in the “conspiracy”.  Furthermore Manafort’s filing attempts to paint him as an Eagle Scout...they literally argued that the Judge needs to be “soft” on Manafort because he didn’t commit murder... 

“...presented to this Court by the government as a hardened criminal who “brazenly” violated the law and deserves no mercy....But this case is not about murder, drug cartels, organized crime, the Madoff Ponzi scheme or the collapse of Enron

 

You do understand that calculated invocation of Organized Crime, Murder but specifically Enron is a gross cheapshot at the lead prosecutor, right? This ProPublica article is an excellent write up on Andrew Weissmann and Enron viewed in the context of the Special Counsel’s office. And last I checked “garden variety” and “esoteric” crimes are still crimes. It’s almost as if Manafort picked up the messages being telegraphed by Trump and his surrogates aka “process crimes”

.

 I will conceed that Manafort’s recycled arguement that the SCO hasn’t charged him with any crimes directly linked to the Trump campaign. Except a few tiny details like Manafort gave Kilimnik the Fabrizio polling data and then Manafort’s team does the unthinkable, they try to argue that the SCO’s exceeded its authority and that the crimes Manafort committed...totes not a big deal. Jesus make it stop. Although till give them credit for wordsmithing and trying to argue in the delusional alternative. Because after all what else can they do, beyond throwing Manafort on the mercy of the Judge by postulating himself. Again not exactly a position of strength.

 

“...predicate to charge a money laundering conspiracy—transmogrifying a traditional regulatory violation into a substantially more serious offense accompanied by a potentially severe sentence under that statute...”
 

 But using Manafort’s incarceration without acknowledging his actions that landed him in jail is just offensive. He committed crimes, as in witness tampering while he was on remand. The fact Manafort’s attorneys continue to completely gloss over this fact and then argue that he’s an old man and in poor health, show mercy your honor. It is all just so offensive.

 

 

Seriously Paul cry me a river, pardon me, I need to fill up my coffee cup with the saltiest of tears. The fact Manafort fails to acknowledge that the forfeiture of his assets were part of his plea deal but also those assets, specifically his real estate were procured by illgotteh means should NOT be overlooked. Manafort committed mortgage and loan fraud. 

 

“...Manafort has been punished substantially, including the forfeiture of most of his assets. In light of his age and health concerns, a significant additional period of incarceration will likely amount to a life sentence for a first time offender.” emphasis added 

 

Although to be “clear” failing to report TAXABLE income is known as Tax Evasion and attempting to “hide” that income is also criminal it’s not a oh dear I totally forgot to pick up eggs at the grocery store. Manafort FAILED to lawfully disclose MILLIONS of dollars in actual income therefore he cheated the US Government from tax revenue.

 

Wait is Manafort reality going there? Shittlestix yes he is...his attorneys are trying to nake Manafort out to be a doting grandpa that plays canasta and occasionally bocci. This is really a mixture of one part sadz, one part WTFINGF and one part dramatic eye roll. Poured over an orchestra of tiny tiny violins:

 

“The Special Counsel’s attempt to portray him as a lifelong and
irredeemable felon is beyond the pale and grossly overstates the facts before this Court.”

I know I shouldn’t be snarky because this really is a very important case,but by the time I reached page 7 of Manafort’s response. I rolled my eyes so hard that I’m pretty sure I saw the back of my own head. It iis really disingenuous for Manafort to now portray himself as a squeaky clean Eagle Scout. In fact it’s his egregious mendacity that is just beyond the pale. From experience when you are casting nearly all the blame on the Prosecution that’s a undeniable sign that you are arguing from an extreme position of weakness:

 

‘...prosecutions brought against Mr. Manafort have devastated him personally, professionally, and financially. The charges and intense negative media coverage surrounding them have destroyed his career. Mr. Manafort, who was always proud of his ability to provide financial support to his immediate and extended family, is now in the process of forfeiting the vast majority of his assets in order to make amends. A lengthy jail sentence is not called for in this case and would not further the statutory goals of sentencing

 

At a certain point in Manafort’s  86 page response I tapped out.  There’s very little substance in Manafort’s Filing. On one hand he’s admitting he knows he committed crimes but in the next breath indicates that the crimes are not a big deal. What is also alarming is in Manafort’s filing they completely ignore that the Judge voided Manafort’s Plea Deal.

 

I could be wrong but I get the sense that Manafort’s lawyers are trying to goad the Special Counsel’s Office by repeatedly stating that Manafort wasn’t charged with crimes that are (NOT) particularized in the May 2017 Order. I don’t know why but I get the sense that this will backfire. Given I don’t think Mueller’s investigation is over, not by a long shot.

In some respects the SCO filing over the weekend was anticlimactic as in I had expected to see a whole lot of new or newish facts, names and “dirty deeds” I can’t help but wonder if the SCO withheld those tasty bits for the next round of indictments. What we know is the SCO’s doesn’t leak, ever. They are a tight impregnable black box. They only speak in Court Documents (an occasional statement-cough looking at you Jason & BuzzFeed)....again I could be wrong but if my educated guess is correct, then Manafort’s 86 page filing is hilariously tragic.

August 2016 Havana Room Manafort/Gates/Kilimnik meeting, see archived thread link here and here.  One thing to keep in mind is I don’t think we know who’s membership Manafort & Gates used, while this detail might be small, I’d argue that it could be important. Hypothetically speaking if you need to draw a direct line versus zig zagging then  the August 2016 meeting seems pivotal, for the following reasons:

  1. Havana Room is a -Private- club, you need a membership to enter
  2. Giuliani and Trump Jr both have a membership
  3. Ask yourself again, when did Paul Manafort “resign” from the Trump campaign? 

 

🌶SpicyFiles Sidebar🌶 Luckly some of my readers/followers have sent copious archived links of various twitter threads, PDFs of threader apps and other previously (unknown to me) archive tools. I am really a fan of crowd sourcing data and continue to be heartened by the “assist” because the thought of losing almost a years worth of research may have been a bit too much for even me.

With any luck those indictments would actually name and shame American Confederates (cough NRA, cough GOP member/donor data-base operations, social media companies, cough waves hiya Dana & Devin) who conspired with the Trump Campaign and Russia or Russian cut-outs to tip the electoral votes in Trump’s favor. 

 

Also I just heard that OrangeFarce One just landed in Hanoi, while Cohen “landed” in DC - Lordy what a fun time to be alive. I’ll be back later tonight with a more detailed summary but until then remember don’t let the bastards get you down. ps they are ALL bastards /snort  -Spicy

 

 

 

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6 comments

  • Bellarealness : February 26, 2019

    Thank you Ms Spicy!! You’re the hero in all this madness

  • Jaye Schembri: February 26, 2019

    great job Spicy- miss you!

  • Jack Patterson: February 26, 2019

    Thank you, Thank you. I’m so glad this site is now available. I have always read your tweets. Keep up this vital service you are providing.

  • Faye White: February 26, 2019

    Thank you, Spicy, for your incredible work!

  • cherylpig: February 26, 2019

    Did you see this? Any ideas?
    https://twitter.com/ZoeTillman/status/1100403987235393536

  • cherylpig: February 26, 2019

    So happy to see your analysis on this and other news. I sorely miss you on the Twit place.

    Question: If, as you and some others believe, there will be conspiracy charges for many of these people later down the road, do they have any clue they’re coming? Wouldn’t they know from the questions they’ve answered? Or do you think they simply assume if they haven’t been charged yet, they won’t be?

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