Manafort plea deal requires truthful cooperation

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

Moscow rejects the conclusions of US intelligence agencies that it interfered in the American democratic process and Trump denies campaign collusion.

If true, that would be quite a development because as Politico reported, "Many Trump aides and advisers have said they believe the president is likely to grant Manafort a pardon on all the charges, which Trump has suggested amounted to prosecutorial overkill aimed at persuading Manafort to implicate Trump in wrongdoing in connection with the ongoing investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation".

Instead Manafort entered the plea. As a part of the deal, he pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy and one charge of conspiracy to obstruct justice.

The document indicates he will admit to funneling millions of dollars in payments into offshore accounts to hide his income from the Internal Revenue Service.

The filing also offers new details about the various ways in which Manafort sought to surreptitiously lobby the US government and influence American public opinion toward Ukraine.

"Manafort stated that '[m] y goal is to plant some stink on Tymo'", according to the document.

Because it's Friday, that means we're getting a massive news dump.

At the end of the segment, Dershowitz said that a pardon for Manafort is "off the table".

"I do", he said repeatedly, waiving each right. "Bada bing bada boom".

Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who is now representing Mr Trump in the Russian Federation probe, said on Friday before the hearing that a guilty plea would not crush Manafort's chances of receiving an eventual presidential pardon.

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Manafort's case marked the first indictment in Mueller's investigation.

A month ago, Manafort was found guilty in Alexandria, Va., on five tax fraud charges, one count of hiding foreign bank accounts, and two counts of bank fraud.

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. As part of his plea agreement, Manafort has admitted his guilt to the rest of the bank fraud counts in Virginia, and in return, the government will not retry the other counts in which a mistrial was declared.

Another conviction would cap a dramatic fall for the worldwide power broker and confidant of Republican presidents dating to Ronald Reagan.

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". The president has signaled that he's sympathetic to Manafort's cause, and in comments to Politico, Giuliani said a plea without a cooperation agreement wouldn't foreclose the possibility of a pardon.

The charges in the information say that Manafort will have to forfeit property that was derived from or traceable to his offenses. But by the mid-2000s, there were signs that his consulting career had slumped, and at times his finances appeared to be shaky. Ukraine had said the report cost $12,000. And during his Virginia trial in August, Manafort's lawyers spent considerable time painting Gates as a liar, embezzler, philanderer and turncoat who would say anything to get a lighter prison sentence.

Jury selection in Washington was due to begin on Monday in Manafort's second trial on charges including conspiring to launder money, conspiring to defraud the United States, failing to register as a foreign agent and witness tampering. He had been jailed since June as a result of the witness-tampering charges. The jury was deadlocked on the remaining 10 counts, which ended in mistrial.

It is unclear how a guilty plea might alter his ultimate sentence, and some lawyers have questioned whether he is focused on winning a reprieve elsewhere. What did Trump and Manafort discuss about this in the interim? But Manafort, whom we can safely assume is one of "the young and handsome lives (and others)" the president once lamented were being destroyed by the investigation, can nearly certainly expect to soon be the subject of a presidential tweetstorm that in no way demeans the highest office in the land.

Rudy Giuliani, Trump's attorney, echoed that. "He's accepted responsibility. This is for conduct that dates back many years and everybody should remember that", said attorney Kevin Downing.

"I feel fairly comfortable in saying that if Mueller's team sought his cooperation the impact will be significant". "Such respect for a fearless man!"

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