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Manafort averts 2nd trial with plea deal, promises to cooperate with Mueller

15 September 2018

Over a 40-year career, Manafort redefined and expanded Washington's influence industry domestically and internationally, parlaying successful campaigns into lobbying opportunities. He could also get a pardon from Trump, which would set off a political firestorm.

Manafort made a similar unsuccessful request in his bank fraud and tax evasion trial in northern Virginia.

He had said repeatedly that he would not cooperate with Mueller but reassessed his situation after his trial last month on separate charges.

First, Schiff noted, Mueller would likely want to know from Manafort as much as possible about the infamous Trump Tower meeting of June 2016, which Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Manafort attended in the full expectation of getting dirt on Hillary Clinton supplied by the Russian government.

The planned plea, if accepted by a judge, would short-circuit his second trial scheduled to begin this month in the District on charges of money laundering and lobbying violations. His "get out of jail free" card is, of course, a presidential pardon, which may be granted by Mr. Trump at any time during his tenure in office.

Manafort is expected to appear in court later Friday morning.

If he cooperates, Mueller could be a significant witness for prosecutors in the case. The President had previously praised Manafort for refusing to "break" and...

The forfeitures are part of an agreement to plea guilty to one count of conspiracy against the United States and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice by witness tampering.

The president's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, was asked by Reid whether he had been told by Manafort's attorneys that the cooperation deal will not require him to share anything related to the president.

In pleading guilty, Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman, would admit he broke the law - a concession he refused to make throughout his Alexandria trial and since he was charged almost a year ago in Washington.

Moscow has denied interfering in the 2016 election and Trump has said there was no collusion.

Manafort pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy against the United States and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice due to attempts to tamper with witnesses, according to a court filing Friday. Patten worked with Manafort's Russian associate Kilimnik through 2017 and admitted in court to illegally using a straw purchaser to buy Trump inaugural tickets for an oligarch.

In this photo taken July 21, 2016, then-Trump Campaign manager Paul Manafort stands between the then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka Trump during a walk through at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

He has yet to be sentenced in Virginia, where legal experts say he faces 8 to 10 years in prison under federal guidelines on the eight of 18 counts on which he was convicted.

"It's not going to hurt him if he pleads guilty".

Manafort is still taking a financial hit, forfeiting $45m of criminal assets.

Thirteen Russians and three Russian entities were indicted in Mueller's investigation in February, accused of tampering in the 2016 election to support Trump.

Manafort averts 2nd trial with plea deal, promises to cooperate with Mueller