Former Trump campaign manager to plead guilty in deal with Mueller
Former Trump campaign manager to plead guilty in deal with Mueller
Paul Manafort to plead guilty as part of plea deal with special counsel
15 September, 2018, 06:16
Manafort is expected to appear in a USA district courtroom in Washington, D.C., later Friday morning. As CNN noted, the "cooperation agreement" means that other charges would be dropped as long as Manafort provided "successful cooperation". In return, Manafort will not face a second trial in which he could receive more severe punishment.
Here's how it all shakes out.
While President Donald Trump is not mentioned in Friday's filing, nor is Manafort's role in his campaign, the news of the cooperation comes as the President continued to lambast the Mueller investigation on Twitter this week.
The move allows Manafort to avoid a second criminal trial and ends his more than year-long fight against investigators in the Russian Federation probe. Papadopoulos has since agreed to work with Mueller's investigation. His business partner Rick Gates, who testified against him in his trial in Virginia last month, pleaded guilty to two criminal charges, including lying to investigators.
We recently discovered just how angry Donald Trump was over the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate allegations of Russian meddling.
"One thing that we've seen is that the Mueller team only speaks through court filings and through court presentations-trial or oral arguments", Sandick said.
On Twitter on August 22, Trump wrote: "Unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to "break" - make up stories in order to get a 'deal".
Manafort is expected in federal court at 11 a.m., where details of the agreement will be revealed.
"This had absolutely nothing to do with the President or his victorious 2016 presidential campaign", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said of the Manafort news on Friday.
The president has signalled that he's sympathetic to Manafort's cause, and in comments to Politico, his attorney-spokesman Rudy Giuliani said a plea without a cooperation agreement wouldn't foreclose the possibility of a pardon.
That came on the very day that Mr Trump's long-time lawyer Michael Cohen did "break" in a NY courtroom, and accused the president of breaking the law into the bargain. And while he was working on the campaign, emails show Manafort discussed providing private briefings for a wealthy Russian businessman close to Putin.
Now the question is whether Trump might intervene. Both charges are related to his work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.
Manafort took cryptic notes about that meeting, including worlds like "Illici" and phrases like "Offshore - Cyprus" and "Active sponsors of RNC".
Manafort was going to prison one way or another. He was convicted last month of eight financial crimes in a separate trial in Virginia. That had him looking at spending the rest of his life in prison.
A Virginia jury convicted Manafort last month on bank and tax fraud charges. The ledger is now settled, though, and his loved ones can begin to move on. "He's accepted responsibility, and this is for conduct that dates back many years, and everybody should remember that".
Manafort's lawyer, Kevin Downing, told reporters outside the courthouse that it was "a tough day for Mr. Manafort".
Another approach would be for Manafort to plead guilty without cooperating in hopes of a presidential pardon.
Manafort, 69, was a key figure in Mr Trump's inner circle, but the president has since sought to distance himself from his former adviser. While the president could free his former aide from federal convictions, the power does not extend to state crimes.
Mugshot of Paul Manafort./Alexandria (Virginia) Sheriff's Office via Wikimedia Commons.
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