The light sentence of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort appeared to outrage many, some of whom use this case as evidence powerful white men live by a different standard than everyone else. But the reaction from Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller should concern Manafort the most.
It was reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s office submitted a filing in Washington, D.C. federal court on Monday in the lead-up to Manafort’s sentencing for his involvement in money laundering. Manafort pleaded guilty in D.C. after a jury found him guilty in a related case in the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA). Clearly, Mueller wants Manafort to face a much more stringent (and suitable) punishment than the extraordinarily light one he received by Judge T.S. Ellis III last week.
In what was clearly a less than subtle nudge for a tougher sentence, Mueller’s prosecutors Andrew Weissmann, Jeannie Rhee, and Greg Andres filed the following one-paragraph status report with D.C. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson:
“The United States of America, by and through Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III, files this status report to apprise the Court of a recent development in United States v. Paul J. Manafort, Jr., No. 1:18-cr-83 (E.D. Va.) that is pertinent to this Court’s upcoming sentencing decision. Attached to this status report as Exhibit A is the transcript from the sentencing hearing on March 7, 2019.”
Although the Special Counsel’s Office prosecutors did not provide any specific argument or request in their filing, it’s quite obvious what their reasoning for the filing was, simply stating that Manafort’s sentencing in the EDVA case is very vital to Judge Jackson’s sentencing decision, which is expected to be announced on Wednesday.