Paul Manafort Agrees to Plead Guilty in Mueller Probe

Charlene Craig
September 14, 2018

The criminal information received reduced seven previous charges on money laundering, conspiracy, false statements and failure to register as a foreign agent. He also agreed to forfeit some properties.

The two revised charges are conspiracy to defraud the United States related to lying to investigators, money laundering and other financial crimes, and conspiracy to obstruct justice for attempting to influence witnesses in his case. Trump has denied colluding with the Russians and the Russians have denied interfering.

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.

The plea deal precludes the need for the second trial, sparing Manafort the steep legal fees of a second round of prosecution. Manafort faces up to a decade in prison after the Virginia jury verdict, and a conviction in Washington could have increased his prison time. Trump has not said whether he would pardon Manafort, but the president has not publicly ruled it out.

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More from The New York Race for Trump to Watch Tonight? Prosecutors said he used that untaxed income to support a lavish lifestyle.

In the Washington case, prosecutors were set to lay out in great detail Manafort's political consulting and lobbying work on behalf of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and the pro-Russian Party of Regions.

More from U.S. Manafort would be the fifth Trump aide to plead guilty in connection to the special counsel's probe.

It's unclear if Manafort will become or has become a cooperating witness, but some reports say the plea agreement appears to suggest he will.

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The publication did not provide information on the $1 million question: whether the agreement requires Manafort to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

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.

Manafort is shown at the Republican convention in Cleveland behind Donald Trump on July 21, 2016.

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