Ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort expected to plead guilty

Hannah Rogers
September 15, 2018

Manafort answered the judge's questions about himself, his plea and rights he will waive, including his right to a trial. "People aren't going to say they will run against Trump unless they have the infrastructure but I've been trying to persuade people that it may not be that hard", he added.

There was no sentencing Friday, and Manafort is still detained in prison in Alexandria. In DC, his seven criminal counts are rewritten as two. "Bada bing bada boom", Manafort wrote to a colleague, prosecutors say.

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

It's unclear which charges Manafort is pleading guilty to.

Last month, Paul Manafort was found guilty on eight of eighteen counts of fraud by a jury in the Eastern District of Virginia. The only thing the agreement appears to lack is a pledge by Manafort to conduct the members of the prosecution to team to his favorite tailors.

In a statement Friday, the President's attorney Rudy Giuliani reiterated that confidence. Because of the Justice Department's official view that a sitting president can not be prosecuted, Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani have chose to fight the investigation as a political battle as well as a legal one. They said "The President did nothing wrong and Paul Manafort will tell the truth"-taking out the truth part because that is very much the problem".

It was the second version of the statement. The special counsel's office issued the following statement regarding the plea: "Court has scheduled an arraignment and plea agreement hearing today for USA v. Paul J. Manafort, Jr., 69, of Alexandria, Va., at 11 a.m".

The White House had previously distanced itself from Manafort and downplayed his time leading the Trump campaign.

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He wrote that he wanted to help "people in the here and now - short term - at the intersection of urgent need and lasting impact". Within this, the Day 1 Families Fund will support existing non-profits that offer shelter and food to young homeless families.

Manafort had the option of rolling all the charges he faced into one trial, but chose not to.

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. Trump's former Campaign Chairman, Paul Manafort, was found guilty on 8 charges of financial fraud, but as he's staring down the barrel of another trial, he's decided to take make a deal with Mueller. He concealed the income through a network of foreign banks and shell companies.

Prosecutors allege that Manafort illegally lobbied on behalf of the Ukrainian government after failing to register as a foreign agent and laundered over $30 million from his business and evaded over $15 million in taxes.

Manafort attended the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower in which Kremlin-backed attendees promised to offer damaging information about Trump's 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton.

A White House spokeswoman quickly sought to distance Trump from the plea deal, saying Manafort's admission of guilt was "totally unrelated" to Trump. And once Manafort agrees to cooperate, "he has to cooperate about everything", Dershowitz added. For now, Manafort has agreed to cough up close to $50 million to the feds in penalties, enough, incidentally, to pay for the Mueller investigation's activities for several years. Manafort faces potentially 10 years as part of this plea agreement.

The charges in Friday's filing were contained a criminal information, a document which can only be filed with a defendant's consent, generally signaling an agreement has been reached.

Prosecutors also gained the cooperation of his longtime associate Rick Gates, who had been indicted alongside him.

Both Manafort and Gates pleaded "Not Guilty" at the time.

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