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Manafort 'repeatedly and brazenly violated the law,' according to Mueller sentencing memo

The sentencing memo by special counsel Robert Mueller's office states that Manafort continued to knowingly break laws well into the fall of 2018.
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For over a decade, Paul Manafort "repeatedly and brazenly violated the law," according to a redacted sentencing memo released Saturday by special counsel Robert Mueller's office. The document added that his behavior "remarkably went unabated even after indictment."

The memo, filed in the Washington, D.C., federal district court, states that Manafort, 69, continued to knowingly break laws well into the fall of 2018, "whether the laws proscribed garden-variety crimes such as tax fraud, money laundering, obstruction of justice, and bank fraud, or more esoteric laws that he nevertheless was intimately familiar with, such as the Foreign Agents Registration Act."

The Foreign Agents Registration Act requires people acting on behalf of a foreign country in a political capacity to disclose those activities, as well as any related finances.

Prosecutors say Manafort first ran afoul of foreign agent registration laws when he was an agent, from June of 1984 through June 1986, for the Saudi Arabian government.

They say that during that period, Manafort didn't register for his work lobbying Congress and the White House for the "Jerusalem Bill" and a "Saudi Arms package."

But despite being caught once, prosecutors say, Manafort again failed to register his efforts on behalf of Ukraine in 2007, conduct which continued for a decade to come.

"His criminal actions were bold, some of which were committed while under a spotlight due to his work as the campaign chairman and, later, while he was on bail from this Court," the memo says.

President Donald Trump hired Manafort as his campaign chairman during the 2016 election. Manafort served in that position from June to August 2016.

While federal prosecutors did not take a position with respect to a particular sentence that the judge should impose, they noted that the sentencing guidelines that could apply to Manafort range from more than 17 years to nearly 22 years in prison.

Manafort will only face a maximum of 10 years, however, because there is a statutory maximum of five years per count, and he faces two counts.

The sentencing memorandum is 25 pages in length, but has over 800 pages in attachments. Most of the additional pages are filings or documents that have been made public before. The federal judge in the case entered an order that allowed federal prosecutors to file a redacted copy of Manafort's sentencing memo for the public and an unredacted version that would remain under seal.

This could be one of the last major filings in the two-year special counsel case.

Manafort faces sentencing hearings in Washington and Virginia next month.

NBC News previously reported that Manafort could face approximately 19 to 24 years in the Virginia case and be required to pay fines and restitution totaling more than $28 million.

Prosecutors say they want to wait until the sentence is imposed in the Eastern District of Virginia case before they let the court know their position on whether the prison time in the Washington case of 10 years should be tacked on to Manafort's sentence in Virginia or served at the same time.

The judge in Washington will ultimately decide how Manafort serves his sentences.

The sentencing memorandum does not detail anything more about Konstantin Kilimnik, who the FBI asserts has ties to Russian intelligence and met with Manafort. It also does not shed any new light on a mid-campaign meeting between the two men and whether they shared any poll data tied to the Trump campaign.

Some legal experts had speculated that the filing of a redacted copy of the memo may indicate that Mueller's investigation will continue as it relates to Manafort, and thus might not be wrapping up as NBC News and others have widely reported.

However, a careful reading of the sentencing memo shows that the redacted sections either have to do with names or accounts that are normally redacted for privacy reasons, or have to do with what is known as a pre-sentence report.