Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Ex-Trump campaign boss reaches plea deal

Bill Hennessy  Reuters Bill Hennessy Reuters
Gerardo Duncan | 14 September, 2018, 18:44

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has agreed with federal prosecutors to plead guilty, NBC News reports.

His decision to plead guilty, indicated in a court filing on Friday, came just days before jury selection was set to begin September 17 in Washington, where Mueller accused him of conspiring to launder money, acting as an unregistered foreign agent of Ukraine and obstructing justice.

Manafort already faces as many as 10 years in prison in a bank and tax fraud case after a federal jury in Alexandria, Va., found him guilty in August.

It's the type of filing typically seen before a plea deal.

"We don't have all the details yet but I'd say the signs for Donald Trump aren't very good because.Manafort will know a lot about Donald Trump and his dealings, not just in America but overseas".

It comes three weeks after Paul Manafort was convicted in a separate trial on eight counts related to financial fraud, and as the Mueller investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation increasingly pressures the White House.

As much evidence as Mueller's team had against Manafort in the first trial, they have even more evidence in the second trial.

Reacting to Manafort's August conviction, President Trump described Manafort as a "good man", and once again labeled the Mueller probe as a "witch hunt".

Judge grants request to delay second trial amid reports of plea deal talks with Mueller; Fox News legal analyst Mercedes Colwin reacts on 'Outnumbered Overtime'.

Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, leaves the Federal District Court after a hearing, in Washington, DC, May 23, 2018.

Manafort had denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty. 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.

Another approach for Manafort would be to plead guilty without cooperating and perhaps later receive a presidential pardon.

Manafort, 69, earned tens of millions of dollars lobbying for foreign governments and spent that money freely, including on a $15,000 ostrich coat, landscaping and real estate. Five other charges were dropped in the new court filing. "Nothing to do with Russian Federation collusion".

Prosecutors "applied tremendous pressure on him and. he refused to "break" - make up stories in order to get a 'deal, ' " the president tweeted last month.

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