Paul Manafort Agrees To Cooperate In Plea Deal With Robert Mueller
By RJ Johnson - @rickerthewriter
September 14, 2018
The former chairman of President Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, Paul Manafort has pleaded guilty to federal charges Friday morning as part of a deal with special counsel Robert Mueller that includes his cooperation as a potential witness.
Manafort's deal with Mueller allows him to avoid a second trial that was scheduled to begin on Monday in Washington D.C. It related to his time as a political consultant in Ukraine, and included charges like conspiracy, money laundering, and failing to register as a foreign agent.
The court filing showed that Manafort pleaded guilty to two of the seven crimes he was facing, including conspiracy to defraud the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Prosecutors said Friday morning that the former Trump campaign chairman has agreed to cooperate with Mueller's ongoing investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election in exchange for the deal.
The document shows Manafort admitting to having funneled millions of dollars through offshore accounts in an attempt to conceal income he made from the Internal Revenue Service. It also delves into his work to lobby the U.S. government on behalf of his clients in Ukraine.
As part of the deal, the government will also seize at least four properties owned by Manafort, including a $2 million home in Arlington, Virginia, which is currently owned by one of Manafort's daughters. The former Trump campaign chairman will also give up four financial accounts and a life insurance policy.
Jury selection for Manafort's trial in Washington D.C. was set to begin on Sept. 24 in U.S. District Court.
Last month, Manafort was convicted of eight financial crimes in a separate trial in Virginia. He faces up to ten years in prison under federal guidelines for the charges against him.
President Donald Trump has not ruled out a pardon for his former campaign chairman, but a deal with the special counsel would likely preclude Manafort from accepting any kind of pardon from the president.
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