Manafort to take guilty plea, forfeit assets

Paul Manafort’s wife Kathleen Manafort left arrives at federal court in Washington Friday Sept. 14 2018. Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is expected to plead guilty to federal charges as part of a deal with the special counsel’s offi

News is reporting that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort has agreed to plead guilty to federal conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges.

After months of refusing to assist Special Counsel Robert Mueller's inquiry into Russian interference and possible coordination between Trump campaign members and Moscow, Manafort finally took a plea deal and agreed to cooperate in return for reduced charges.

Still, Friday's move gives Mueller another successful conviction while allowing Manafort to avoid facing another costly public trial that this time focused on allegations that he acted as an unregistered foreign agent for Ukrainian interests. 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.

Following the hearing, Manafort's attorney, Kevin Downing, addressed reporters outside the courthouse and stated that his client "wanted to make sure that his family was able to remain safe and live a good life".

Manafort was among the participants, for instance, in a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians and the president's oldest son and son-in-law that was arranged so the campaign could receive derogatory information about Democrat Hillary Clinton.

In a statement to CNN after the news of Manafort's cooperation, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said, "This had absolutely nothing to do with the President or his victorious 2016 Presidential campaign".

"It's not going to hurt him if he pleads guilty".

Manafort pleads guilty in cooperation deal;...

"There's nothing he can testify to that would probably lend weight to impeachment because he didn't have close contact with President Trump while he was president", said Dershowitz.




The document also says Manafort "orchestrated a scheme to have, as he wrote in a contemporaneous communication, '[O] bama jews' put pressure on the administration to disavow Tymoshenko and support Yanukovych", the document said.

Manafort's guilty plea Friday appears to set that question aside, for now.

The Virginia case was the first brought by Mueller to go to trial, and the guilty finding by the jury - on eight of 18 charges - was a significant victory for Mueller's team.

As with the Virginia case, the trial in Washington focused on criminal charges that largely predated Manafort's time with Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

Ahead of the hearing, Mueller's office filed superseding criminal information, which spelled out the two counts to which Manafort has pleaded guilty: conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

The president's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, was asked by Reid whether he had been told by Manafort's attorneys that the cooperation deal will not require him to share anything related to the president. The jury in Virginia found that Manafort hid millions of dollars he made in Ukraine to avoid paying taxes and then lied to get loans when the political party that was paying him was ousted from power and the funding dried up.

He had other charges dropped but could still face 10 years in prison on the two charges in Washington.

"I had hoped and expected my business colleague would have had the strength to continue the battle to prove our innocence", Manafort said in February.

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