Manafort-linked lobbyist Sam Patten to be sentenced in April

Sam Patten, a GOP consultant with links to former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortMueller subpoenas former Cambridge Analytica employee Make the special counsel report public for the sake of Americans Paul Manafort should not be sentenced to 20 years in prison MORE, will be sentenced in April for illegally lobbying on behalf of a political party in Ukraine, a federal judge in Washington said Wednesday.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is overseeing Patten’s case, issued an order setting Patten’s sentencing for April 12 at 10 a.m. 


He pleaded guilty to failing to register as a foreign agent for Ukraine's Opposition Bloc last August and agreed to cooperate with government prosecutors, including special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE. The U.S. attorney’s office in D.C. handled his case on a referral from Mueller’s office.

Patten has attracted some attention since his guilty plea, particularly as a result of the disclosure in court filings that he admitted to using a U.S. citizen as a “straw purchaser” to obtain tickets to President TrumpDonald John TrumpMcCabe says he was fired because he 'opened a case against' Trump McCabe: Trump said 'I don't care, I believe Putin' when confronted with US intel on North Korea McCabe: Trump talked to me about his election victory during 'bizarre' job interview MORE’s inauguration for an unidentified “prominent” Ukrainian oligarch. Patten, who also admitted to lying to the Senate Intelligence Committee about the tickets, was not charged with crimes in connection with those admissions.

Federal prosecutors reportedly subpoenaed Trump’s inaugural committee for documents last week, signaling that authorities are looking into whether foreigners illegally donated to the organization.

Patten also has links to a Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian business associate of Manafort who is suspected of ties to Kremlin intelligence. Kilimnik was charged along Manafort with witness tampering last year, but is believed to be in Russia and out of reach of U.S. prosecutors. 

Details about Patten’s cooperation with the government have been sparse; prosecutors have twice filed status reports under seal in his case, keeping any information about his cooperation from the public realm. On Monday, prosecutors filed their latest status report under seal.   

Jackson’s order signals that prosecutors and Patten’s defense attorneys have agreed he is ready for sentencing. Often prosecutors try to postpone a defendant’s sentencing until they believe his cooperation is finished. The development signals prosecutors have finished gleaning any information from Patten that they need for ongoing investigations.

The judge ordered both parties to file sentencing memoranda -- which could offer details about Patten's cooperation -- by April 5. 

Manafort was charged in October 2017 in connection with Mueller's investigation with several crimes related to his lobbying on behalf of pro-Russian forces in Ukraine. He was convicted of bank and tax fraud in Virginia last August before pleading guilty to two additional charges to avert a second federal trial in Washington, D.C.

Manafort agreed to cooperate in Mueller's investigation as part of the deal, but it collapsed weeks later after the special accused him of lying to investigators on a range of subjects.

Manafort is expected to be sentenced later this year.

--This report was updated at 2:22 p.m.