The defendant agrees to testify at any proceeding in the District of Colombia or elsewhere as requested by the Government.
While the cooperation language is extremely broad—and not time-limited—that’s not so strange.
Also fairly standard: Manafort’s waiving the right not to be indicted by a grand jury, the right to plead not guilty, and the right to a jury trial, as well as a speedy trial. Further, even statements made during plea proceedings remain fair game for prosecutors to use against Manafort; usually, they’re not.
He’s also waived the right to challenge or appeal his convictions in both jurisdictions. The agreement cuts off nearly all avenues of challenge or appeal in both the Eastern District of Virginia and D.C.
Here’s the unusual part: Manafort’s essentially agreeing he can’t accept a pardon.
Your client agrees that, should any plea or conviction following your client's pleas of guilty pursuant to this Agreement, or the guilty verdicts in the Eastern District of Virginia, be vacated, set aside, or dismissed for any reason (other than by government motion as set forth herein), any prosecution based on the conduct set forth in the attached Statement of the Offense, as well as any crimes that the Government has agreed not to prosecute or to dismiss pursuant to this Agreement, that is not time-barred by the applicable statute of limitations on the date of the signing of this Agreement, may be commenced or reinstated against your client, notwithstanding the expiration of the statute of limitations between the signing of this Agreement and the commencement or reinstatement of such prosecution.
So, if Manafort’s pardoned on one charge, they’ll go after him on another. It’d be an endless game of whack-a-mole.
Manafort’s committed to nine forfeitures, from five properties totaling $22 million to the entire contents of a bank account. He’ll keep a house in Virginia and additional cash assets.
Under the agreement, the forfeitures can essentially be immediate. Like his convictions and sentences, he can’t contest the forfeitures in any legal or administrative forum. If he fails to deliver one of the specified assets or provide its monetary equivalent, Mueller can consider it a breach of the agreement. (BTW: The court’s also likely to fine Manafort between $40,000 and $400,000.)
What’s Manafort getting? A slight break on sentencing guidelines, a recommendation that his EDVA and D.C. sentences run concurrently, which is big, and a shield from additional charges.
In consideration of your client's guilty plea to the above offenses, and upon the completion of full cooperation as described herein and fulfillment of all the other obligations herein, no additional criminal charges will be brought against the defendant for his heretofore disclosed participation in criminal activity, including money laundering, false statements, personal and corporate tax and FBAR offenses, bank fraud, Foreign Agents Registration Act violations for his work in Ukraine, and obstruction of justice.
But wait! Manafort has agreed that Mueller gets to decide when sentencing happens, and Mueller will only drop the additional counts upon either sentencing or completion of Manafort’s cooperation (whichever is later).
If Manafort has omitted criminal activity or commits future criminal activity, he’s toast, and the government can seek an upward adjustment.
If the judge agrees with the plea agreement, Manafort will be sentenced to between 210 and 262 months—a range of 17.5 years to just shy of 22 years. He’ll have to serve at least 80 percent of that sentence, so he won’t be out sooner than 14 years. Of course, it’s only 14 years if he’s sentenced to 14 years or less in EDVA and the sentences run concurrently. The agreement notes that the court still has to agree to concurrent sentences.
The court’s calculations could come out differently; if they do for any reason, Manafort’s still on the hook. Moreover, the government can talk about not just what Manafort’s pleaded to but other crimes at sentencing. The judge not only can calculate the guidelines differently but can exceed them, sentencing Manafort to the statutory limit. He’ll still be bound by the agreement.
Manafort’s now Mueller’s best asset. That’s not to say that Mueller trusts Manafort, as Manafort had to give up any right to request documents related to the investigation.
Your client also agrees to waive all rights, whether asserted directly or by a representative, to request or receive from any department or agency of the United States any records pertaining to the investigation or prosecution of this case, including and without limitation any records that may be sought under the Freedom of Information Act, or the Privacy Act, for the duration of the Special Counsel's investigation.
Moreover, Mueller’s also blocked Manafort from profiting from his crimes via other avenues. Pretty standard.
Your client agrees not to accept remuneration or compensation of any sort, directly or indirectly, for the dissemination through any means, including but not limited to books, articles, speeches, blogs, podcasts, and interviews, however disseminated, regarding the conduct encompassed by the Statement of the Offense, or the investigation by the Office or prosecution of any criminal or civil cases against him.
Hopefully, Mueller won’t have to test his anti-pardon provision. Fortunately, even if Trump’s judges were to strike it, Mueller would likely get to hang onto and use the information he got from Manafort up until that point.