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giftedviz.com November 15, 2018


Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort to 'plead guilty'

15 September 2018, 06:15 | Darnell Patrick

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI AFP

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI  AFP

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

In addition to the financial and lobbying charges against Manafort, the special counsel's team has said it's investigating allegations he colluded with Russian Federation while working for Trump.

According to the presiding judge, such co-operation includes sitting for interviews and briefings with Robert Mueller's team, handing over any relevant documents, and testifying before any future grand juries or, if necessary, criminal trials.

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

Friday's move gives Mueller another successful conviction while allowing Manafort to avoid facing another costly public trial. Now that trial is canceled.

Asked by reporters at the White House if he would consider a pardon if Manafort is convicted, Trump said last month: "I don't talk about that".

"Manafort's guilty plea - with cooperation! - is an absolute nightmare for Trump, and his family", former federal prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega told the Guardian in an email. "This had absolutely nothing to do with the president or his victorious 2016 presidential campaign", the press secretary, Sarah Sanders, said in a statement. "It is totally unrelated". The reason: "the President did nothing wrong".

In the Washington case, prosecutors were set to lay out in great detail Manafort's political consulting and lobbying work, done through 2014, on behalf of then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and the pro-Russian Party of Regions.

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Mueller's investigators might also be looking to Manafort to learn whether the Trump team offered anything to the Russians in exchange for campaign help, said Seth Waxman, a former federal prosecutor.

But one person familiar with the case said the agreement does not include cooperation on matters involving the Trump campaign. 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.

Hey guys, the president's former campaign chairman just plead guilty to crimes including Conspiracy Against The United States, and it sounds like a pretty big deal.

Manafort agreed to work with investigators in the Russian Federation probe. Mueller has also gotten guilty pleas from former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos. The feds obtain guilty pleas in more than 95% of the cases they bring because they are extremely careful to bring charges in only the strongest of cases.

For example, the government did not specify how much of a reduction it will seek on Manafort's sentencing if he follows through on his cooperation agreement.

The decision by Trump's onetime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to plead guilty last month in a federal investigation in Manhattan particularly angered the president, who denounced him as a "flipper". The payment dates and amounts are the same as those made to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal who say they had sexual relationships with Trump.

Prosecutors say that Manafort directed a large-scale lobbying operation in the United States for Ukrainian interests without registering with the Justice Department as required by the federal Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA. Caty Weaver was the editor.



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