Mueller Runs Manafort Over Coals With Details From Ukraine Lobbying Scheme

Paul Manafort to plead guilty as part of plea deal with special counsel

Paul Manafort Reaches Plea Deal With Special Counsel Robert Mueller

Earlier, the Special Counsel's office had indicated in a court filing that Manafort had reached a plea deal with Robert Mueller in which he will plead guilty to two criminal counts, allowing him to avoid the trial The remaining five charges against Manafort will be dropped. He was facing a second trial Monday on charges related to Ukrainian political consulting work, including failing to register as a foreign agent.

The charges were contained in a criminal information document that can only be filed with a defendant's consent and typically signals a deal has been reached.

The president has signalled that he's sympathetic to Manafort's cause, and in comments to Politico, his attorney-spokesman Rudy Giuliani said a plea without a cooperation agreement wouldn't foreclose the possibility of a pardon.

The lengthy document says Mr. Manafort earned more than $60 million lobbying the an unregistered agent of pro-Russian interests in Ukraine, then went to extensive efforts to launder the money, stashing it in offshore havens and even lying to his own accountants about it. "In order to hide Ukraine payments from United States authorities, from approximately 2006 through at least 2016, MANAFORT, with the assistance of Gates and Kilimnik, laundered the money through scores of United States and foreign corporations, partnerships, and bank accounts".

What is unclear is whether he will cooperate with prosecutors as they investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election, and potential collusion by members of Trump's campaign.

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". But Manafort has not been charged with anything related to the campaign.

However, none of the charges relate to collusion with Russian Federation in the election.

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

In August, Manafort was found guilty on eight out of 18 counts of financial crimes in his first trial in Virginia.

"If he's helping out Mueller, that's more bad news for Trump".

Prosecutor Andrew Weissman said in court Friday that Manafort had struck a "cooperation agreement".

This comes ten days before Manafort's trial was set to begin.

Another approach would be for him to plead guilty without cooperating in hopes of a presidential pardon.

The jury could not come to a consensus on 10 counts, forcing the judge to rule a mistrial on those charges.

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