Under the terms of Friday’s plea deal, prosecutors dropped the bulk of the charges against Manafort, filing new charges including conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice.
Or Mueller may be directly interested in what Manafort, who led the Trump campaign from April through August 2016, can describe about the campaign’s interactions with Russians. “It is totally unrelated”.
Manafort may have tendered his plea for a variety of reasons including the possibility that it would protect his family from financial ruin and the fact that at age 69, the sentences likely to be imposed in both his Virginia and Washington cases could have ensured that he would spend the rest of his life in prison. He had another trial coming up this month, and this plea deal was his way of avoiding it. “Now, he plays out the string, but I think he cuts it”, Litman said. He also cooperated in the government’s case against Manafort. “Everyone should remember that”, Manafort’s defense lawyer Kevin Downing told reporters outside the courthouse. It’s still not clear what will happen to those charges in Virginia federal court.
If he pleads guilty, Manafort would avoid a trial that was expected to last at least three weeks and posed the potential of adding years onto the seven to 10 years he is already facing under federal sentencing guidelines from his conviction in Virginia.
It has been rumored that Trump would grant him a presidential pardon for his crimes.
The president’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, was asked by Reid whether he had been told by Manafort’s attorneys that the cooperation deal will not require him to share anything related to the president.
It was the second version of the statement. The crimes Manafort has been convicted of are not directly connected to Trump and his campaign in any way and a lot of them preceded Manafort’s work for Trump. But last month, Trump expressed sympathy for him. Vanity Fair reports that former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen is talking to investigators: “he has bristled at the feeling that he has taken the fall for a man who has refused to take any responsibility or face any effect himself”.
Last month, Manafort was convicted on eight of 18 charges of bank and tax fraud.
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.
“And prosecutors would naturally follow the money trail from Manafort’s Ukrainian consulting activities”. A long time has passed since Manafort was charged earlier this year.
We recently discovered just how angry Donald Trump was over the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate allegations of Russian meddling.
Manafort must also cooperate “fully, truthfully, completely, and forthrightly” with the Justice Department in any and all matters that the government finds his cooperation to be relevant. Stone’s communications have been a subject of the Mueller investigation, sources familiar with interviews of other Stone associates have said.
“It’s not going to hurt him if he pleads guilty”.
Manafort says he intends to plead guilty to charges including conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice relating to his work for a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine.
Mueller, who is primarily examining Russian election interference, has secured guilty pleas and cooperation from several people, including former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.