Paul Manafort's legal team asked a federal judge in Washington, D.C., to grant their client leniency in a sentencing memo filed Monday.
His lawyers said Manafort should ultimately be handed a sentence "significantly below the statutory maximum" of 10 years.
As part of a plea deal he struck with the special counsel last year, Manafort pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy against the U.S. and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, related to witness tampering.
In the memo, Manafort's lawyers attempted to downplay the seriousness of his actions, describing them as "garden-variety crimes."
They also claimed that special counsel Robert Mueller only prosecuted Manafort because he was "unable to establish that Mr. Manafort engaged in any Russia collusion."
The memo from Manafort's legal team comes after Mueller's team filed a similar document over the weekend. In it, the prosecutors didn't suggest a specific sentence for Manafort but said he "chose repeatedly and knowingly to violate the law."
Manafort is in the midst of two legal cases — the one in D.C. and one in Virginia. He's scheduled to be sentenced in the D.C. case on March 13. By that point, he'll already have been sentenced in the separate tax and bank fraud case in Virginia.
Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.