Manafort agrees to plead guilty after deal with special counsel

14 September, 2018, 18:46 | Author: Rachel Logan
  • Paul Manafort will plead guilty, forfeit many assets in special counsel probe

Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort appears to have reached a plea agreement with Robert Mueller, the special counsel's office signaled Friday.

Manafort will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy against the United States and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, according to documents filed in the US District Court for the District of Columbia.

The eight felony counts that Manafort was convicted of on August 21 weren't the only charges that he faced in the courtroom of Judge T.S. Ellis III in Alexandria, Virginia.

If Manafort decides to cooperate with Mueller's probe, that would deal a setback to Trump ahead of congressional elections on November 6.

President Trump has not said whether he would pardon Manafort, but the president has not publicly ruled it out.

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Another approach would be for him to plead guilty without cooperating in hopes of a presidential pardon.

The plea deal would allow Manafort to avoid a second trial that had been scheduled to start next week in Washington.

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Manafort joined the Trump campaign in March 2016 and was elevated to chair in May.

Manafort had denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty.

The charges in the information say that Manafort will have to forfeit property that was derived from or traceable to his offenses.

Just under a year ago, the 69-year-old veteran GOP operative was charged in Washington, D.C., with several counts of fraud and failing to register as a foreign agent by the special counsel.

The charges do not relate to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Manafort was accused of concealing from the IRS tens of millions of dollars in proceeds from his Ukrainian patrons and conspiring to launder that money through offshore accounts in Cyprus and elsewhere. And it was Jackson (a Barack Obama appointee) who, earlier this year, removed Manafort's home detention status and ordered him jailed for tampering with witnesses.

The decision by Trump's onetime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to plead guilty last month in a federal investigation in Manhattan particularly angered the president, who denounced him as a "flipper".

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

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