Prosecutors: Manafort 'blames everyone' for his actions

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has not shown remorse or taken responsibility for his crimes, federal prosecutors said in a court filing two days ahead of his sentencing hearing.

Prosecutors with special counsel Robert Mueller’s office said Tuesday that Manafort “blames everyone from the Special Counsel’s Office to his Ukrainian clients for his own criminal choices.”

“Manafort suggests, for example, that but for the appointment of the Special Counsel’s Office, he would not have been charged in connection with hiding more than $55 million abroad, failing to pay more than $6 million in taxes, and defrauding three financial institutions of more than $25 million dollars,” prosecutors wrote.

In reality, they said, he was under Justice Department investigation before Mueller was appointed special counsel in May 2017.

The filing was aimed at persuading a judge to reject Manafort’s pleas for leniency at Thursday’s sentencing hearing in Alexandria, Virginia. Sentencing calculations call for a punishment of up to 24 years.

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Manafort was convicted in August of eight financial crimes in the Virginia case. He faces another sentencing hearing later this month following a guilty plea in Washington.

Whatever sentence he receives will be by far the longest punishment given so far to any of the defendants charged in Mueller’s nearly two-year investigation.

Prosecutors also rejected Manafort’s argument that his age — 69 — should be taken into account, saying he can and should receive proper medical care in prison.

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