Paul Manafort to Cooperate With Special Counsel in Possible Blow to Trump

Paul Manafort to Cooperate With Special Counsel in Possible Blow to Trump

Paul Manafort to Cooperate With Special Counsel in Possible Blow to Trump

Paul Manafort signaled on Friday that he intends to plead guilty ahead of a second trial as prosecutors filed new charging documents against the former Trump campaign chairman. Manafort reached a deal with federal prosecutors to avoid his upcoming trial on charges related to his foreign lobbying work, CBS News reported Thursday.

"I had hoped and expected my business colleague would have had the strength to continue the battle to prove our innocence", Manafort said after the Gates plea deal earlier this year.

The special counsel's Friday superseding information against Paul Manafort is packed with new specifics about his lucrative work as an unregistered foreign lobbyist for Ukraine.

Details of the deal were likely to emerge in a plea agreement hearing scheduled for 11 a.m. ET (1500 GMT) in federal court.

A jury in Alexandria convicted Manafort on eight counts of bank and tax fraud charges in late August, in what was widely viewed as a victory for Mueller's team and which represented the special counsel's first court test in the sprawling Russian Federation investigation.

The charges in the information say that Manafort will have to forfeit property that was derived from or traceable to his offenses.

If Manafort were to cooperate with Mueller, that could provide investigators new evidence or leads to chase; a guilty plea, however, would prevent weeks worth of headlines about the trial in the month before congressional elections. And during his Virginia trial in August, Manafort's lawyers spent considerable time painting Gates as a liar, embezzler, philanderer and turncoat who would say anything to get a lighter prison sentence.

This after Manafort was found guilty on eight charges including bank fraud, submitting false tax returns, and failing to report foreign bank accounts last month.

The conspiracy to obstruct justice charge is based on allegations of alleged witness tampering after Manafort was already initially charged with several crimes related to his work for the Ukrainian government. Kilimnik was charged alongside Manafort in June with conspiracy to obstruct justice, but is unlikely to see his day in court because he is Russian and therefore out of reach of US prosecutors.

Trump has raised the idea of a pardon for Manafort with White House aides and others, a source told NPR.

This comes ten days before Manafort's trial was set to begin. A mistrial was declared on the remaining 10 charges after jurors could not reach a unanimous verdict.

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