Lawyers for former Trump campaign chair suggest he is victim of circumstance whose crimes were ‘garden variety’

Paul Manafort, the longtime political consultant who once led Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, asked a federal judge for leniency Monday as he faces the potential of spending the rest of his life in prison in criminal cases stemming from the Russia investigation.

In a new court filing, Manafort’s attorneys painted the 69-year-old as a victim of circumstance, prosecuted by special counsel Robert Mueller only because the government could not make the case that he colluded with the Kremlin’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. They also dismissed the prosecutors’ characterization of Manafort as a hardened criminal, saying he was merely a wealthy consultant who committed “garden variety” crimes by illegally lobbying for Ukrainian interests and hiding millions from the IRS.

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Read More Paul Manafort seeks leniency from judge as he faces life in prison

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