Manafort Reaches Plea Deal With Special Counsel Mueller

Lester Mason
September 14, 2018

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

Manafort will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy against the United States and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, according to documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

A pre-trial conference scheduled in federal court in Washington, D.C., for 11 a.m. ET Friday was just changed on the Manafort case docket to an arraignment and plea agreement hearing, the most concrete confirmation of a plea agreement, after days of speculation and reporting based on unnamed sources.

The move toward a guilty plea is another reversal for Manafort, who has fought vociferously - but unsuccessfully - against Mueller's probe.

Kathleen Manafort, wife of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, arrives prior to a pre-trial hearing for Paul Manafort ahead of his upcoming trial on a range of charges stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election at U.S. District Court in Washington, U.S., September 14, 2018.


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.

With a plea deal, Manafort would avoid a trial that was set to last at least three weeks and posed the potential of adding years onto the 7 to 10 years he is already facing from his conviction in Virginia last month.

Most of the charges Mueller brought against him stemmed from that pre-2016 Ukraine work, however some of the bank fraud allegations in Virginia overlapped with Manafort's time on the campaign and after. Five other charges were dropped in the new court filing. Trump has denied colluding with the Russians and the Russians have denied interfering.

Earlier this year, Manafort derided Gates, his former business partner, for striking a deal with prosecutors that provided him leniency in exchange for testimony against his former partner.

"It's not going to hurt him if he pleads guilty. It shows you've admitted your guilt", he said on Friday before a deal was announced.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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