The special counsel’s office had wanted that information kept out of the public eye to protect an open investigation. It remains unclear why Mr. Kilimnik would want such polling data, what exactly he did with it and whether the data transfer might have helped inform the Russian government’s covert operation to interfere with the American election.
As proof of Mr. Manafort’s financial fraud scheme, prosecutors put forward exhaustive evidence of how he illegally concealed his work on behalf of political parties in Ukraine that were aligned with Russia and of how he hid more than $55 million in payments from that work in more than 30 overseas bank accounts.
Once his income from Ukraine dried up, their evidence showed, Mr. Manafort deceived banks to obtain loans to sustain a lavish lifestyle. At the same time, he worked for the Trump campaign for free, apparently hoping his status as campaign chairman would attract deep-pocketed foreign clients. He was fired from the campaign after five months when the scandal over his hidden income from Ukraine broke in August 2016.
Mr. Manafort’s lawyers repeatedly implied that the special counsel’s office pursued their client with unusual vigor because of his importance to the Russia inquiry. They said his political consulting work for four American presidents, including Mr. Trump, spoke to his high ideals. And they argued that the special counsel’s office has vilified him for what are essentially garden-variety crimes that for other defendants merited only limited time behind bars.
But prosecutors said that Mr. Manafort had been under criminal investigation before Mr. Mueller was appointed in May 2017, that his fraud scheme lasted a full decade and that he committed new crimes by tampering with witnesses after he was indicted. Those new offenses led a federal judge to revoke his bail and jail him in June.
“The defendant blames everyone from the special counsel’s office to his Ukrainian clients for his own criminal choices,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo.
Mr. Manafort was indicted on 18 counts in the Northern Virginia case, but the jury convicted him on only eight: five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud and one count of failure to disclose a foreign bank account. Because of one holdout juror, the panel deadlocked on the other charges. Mr. Manafort admitted that he was guilty of those as well, though, as part of his plea agreement.
Next week, Judge Amy Berman Jackson of United States District Court for the District of Columbia will sentence him for the two conspiracy charges, which each carry a maximum penalty of five years. Whether the sentences run consecutively or concurrently is a major issue for both sides.
This content was originally published here.