Mueller Drops Most of Manafort’s Charges as Part of Cooperation Agreement

Paul Manafort looks on as Donald Trump appears at the Republican National Convention in July 2016. A superseding crim

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

The developments were first reported by ABC News, which said details of the deal would be announced in court on Friday.

"Well, of course they should be", said the law professor, who later underscored that the only reason Mueller would be interested in flipping Manafort is if he believes he can get damaging information on Trump. The guilty plea today by Paul Manafort is a "big win" for Robert Mueller that should alarm Donald Trump. "Everyone should remember that", Manafort's defense lawyer Kevin Downing told reporters outside the courthouse.

The Analysis: This is of great benefit to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation and great detriment to Donald Trump.

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.

In addition to the witness tampering counts, Manafort is formally charged with acting as an unregistered foreign agent, conspiring to launder money and lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department about the nature of his work.

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Manafort, who was found guilty last month on eight counts of bank and tax fraud in Virginia, was heading toward a second trial in Washington. Jurors deadlocked on 10 other counts. The only thing the agreement appears to lack is a pledge by Manafort to conduct the members of the prosecution to team to his favorite tailors.

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. And the judge may decide to run those sentences consecutively or concurrently.

He has yet to be sentenced in Virginia, where legal experts say he faces 8 to 10 years in prison under federal guidelines on the eight of 18 counts on which he was convicted.

The charges in Friday's filing were contained in criminal information, a type of charging document that can only be filed with a defendant's consent, and typically signals a deal has been reached. Jackson called it the "longest and most detailed" reading of criminal information she had ever heard. He is accused of avoiding $15 million in taxes by storing his money in offshore accounts, as well as witness-tampering and working as an unregistered lobbyist on behalf of Ukraine before his time with the Trump campaign.

The key question will be what Manafort actually can tell Mueller and his associates.

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But one person familiar with the case said the agreement does not include cooperation on matters involving the Trump campaign. "I do", he replied. Just ask Ivan Boesky, Jeffrey Skilling, Martha Stewart and a host of other multimillionaires who were marched to prison in handcuffs after facing off against federal prosecutors.

"It is totally unrelated", said Sarah Sanders said, White House spokesperson.

As we know, Mueller has indicted 25 Russians (13 Russian entities were indicted earlier this year for their propaganda campaign, and 12 Russian intelligence officers (GRU) were indicted for hacking the DNC, DCCC, and Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign during the 2016 election and leaking through DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0).

Overall, Manafort forfeited five properties, three bank accounts and a life insurance policy. Trump had saluted that stance, publicly praising him and suggesting Manafort had been treated worse than gangster Al Capone.

Manafort has been in jail since mid-June.

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Westling agreed in court that the mistried counts in Virginia will be dropped with Manafort's admission of guilt to all his allegations. There will be a joint status report filed in 60 days.

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