Manafort Agrees to Plead Guilty to Avoid New Washington Trial

Share

Paul Manafort agrees to plead guilty to avoid a second trial on corruption charges, following a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller.

Mueller filed superseding criminal information in U.S. District Court in Washington, an indication that Manafort will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of witness tampering.

Manafort, in a trial set to begin September 24 in federal court in Washington, is facing seven counts of foreign lobbying violations and witness tampering.

It is not clear whether any agreement with prosecutors would require him to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation into possible coordination between the Trump presidential campaign and Russian Federation.

Jury selection was due to begin on Monday in a 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. Five other charges were dropped in the new court filing.

Manafort's guilty plea would come with a detailed admission of wrongdoing, which could shed light on his interactions with oligarchs from Ukraine and Russian Federation.

The charges are related to Manafort's Ukrainian political consulting work.

Everything Announced at iPhone Xs Event
It also means developers might have a harder time taking advantage of those features if Apple decides to remove any more. "The most advanced iPhone we've ever created", was, unsurprisingly how Apple heralded its new smartphone.

The details of the plea deal ― including whether it indicates that Manafort has to cooperate with Mueller's team ― are not yet available.

Manafort has aggressively fought the charges against him and taken shots at his co-defendant, Rick Gates, who cut a deal with prosecutors earlier this year that included a cooperation agreement.

By entering a guilty plea, Manafort could also avoid millions of dollars in potential legal fees.

Over a 40-year career, Manafort redefined and expanded Washington's influence industry domestically and internationally, parlaying successful campaigns into lobbying opportunities.

Manafort had denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty.

This, in turn, may endear him to President Trump, who has already called Manafort a "good man" who has been unfairly targeted by the Justice Department. Court papers indicated that he could have faced between 15 and 19 1/2 years in prison under federal guidelines.

Share