Paul Manafort pleads guilty, will co-operate with special counsel

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

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

Even Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz, who has been one of Trump's most staunch defenders in the Russian Federation probe in numerous media appearances, conceded on Friday that Mueller's deal securing Manafort's cooperation was "a big win" and "big get" for the investigation into Trump's ties to Russian Federation, adding, "Potentially it opens up lots of doors that probably haven't been open before", according to an NBC News report. He was convicted last month of eight financial crimes in a separate trial in Virginia.

Westling agreed in court that the mistried counts in Virginia will be dropped with Manafort's admission of guilt to all his allegations. Although such work is required to be registered with United States authorities under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, Manafort neglected to do so for years.

The President has been quite publicly supportive of Manafort since criminal charges were first filed against his former campaign chairman.

Manafort's deal could also prompt other subjects of Mueller's investigation to cooperate, causing "the proverbial snowball to roll down the hill", Waxman said.

Manafort and his former deputy Rick Gates were the first people charged in the special counsel's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

The White House says Manafort's decision to plead guilty and cooperate with Mueller is "totally unrelated" to President Donald Trump. Giuliani added that "the president did nothing wrong".

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.

The deal requires Manafort to cooperate "fully and truthfully" with special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.

The president's personal lawyer, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, has argued, however, that a plea agreement between Manafort and the special counsel does not affect Trump because his former campaign chairman has nothing compromising to say about the president.

As part of the plea deal with Mueller, Manafort agreed to forfeit three of his homes and two apartments in NY as well as several bank accounts.

When the Eastern Virginia jury found him guilty in August, that conviction carried with it a maximum 80-year prison sentence.

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Earlier this year, Rick Gates, who served as deputy chairman for the Trump campaign, pleaded guilty to charges of plotting.

Not only did Manafort plead guilty, he also entered an agreement to cooperate with Muellers Avengers of prosecutors, scoring a lighter sentence for spilling all the tea he knows.

The guilty plea also heads off a second trial that would have taken place in Washington. He did not elaborate on the agreement.

It has been reported that Mr Trump's legal team is quite relaxed about Manafort's change of heart, believing that there is very little he can tell Mueller's team. Manafort admitted to leading a lobbying campaign for Ukraine for almost a decade and intentionally doing so without registering as a foreign agent. Kilimnik has not appeared in court, though Manafort's plea Friday admits that he committed his crimes in conspiracy with both Gates and Kilimnik.

Paul Manafort's plea agreement is a monstrously one-sided deal in favor of the government.

Paul Callan is a CNN legal analyst, a former NY homicide prosecutor and of counsel to the NY law firm of Edelman & Edelman PC, focusing on wrongful conviction and civil rights cases. In addition to failing to register as a foreign agent himself, Manafort admitted to taking steps to prevent the firms and lobbyists he hired from registering as foreign agents. While President Donald Trump is not mentioned in Friday's filing, nor is Manafort's role in his campaign, the news of the cooperation comes as the President continued to lambast the Mueller investigation on Twitter this week.

He's also indicted former Manafort business associate Konstantin Kilimnik, now believed to be in Russia, for obstruction of justice and 25 Russian nationals and three Russian companies for interfering in the USA 2016 presidential election.

At the time of Gates' plea, Manafort issued a statement saying he "had hoped and expected my business colleague would have had the strength to continue the battle to prove our innocence".

If he cooperates, Mueller could be a significant witness for prosecutors in the case.

Manafort was facing a second trial set to begin on Monday in Washington on charges related to Ukrainian political consulting work.

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