Prosecutors file new charging documents against Paul Manafort

15 September, 2018, 09:40 | Author: Myra Gill
  • REPORT: Manafort Wants

Former Trump campaign chairman and New Britain native Paul Manafort and special counsel Robert Mueller are close to a deal for a guilty plea ahead of his upcoming trial, according to a source familiar with the matter.

It remains unclear if the deal will include Manafort cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian interference in the 2016 United States presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

ABC reached out to a spokesperson for Manafort and a representative for the special counsel's office.

Manafort was at a controversial meeting at Trump Tower in 2016 where Russians were offering "dirt" on election opponent Hillary Clinton. The witness tampering allegations were brought earlier this year, and Manafort has been in jail, awaiting trial, since June because of them.

Manafort's cooperation could be significant.

Trump praised Manafort last month for not entering into a plea agreement, as the president's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen had. At that point, Manafort would not be able to assert his 5th amendment right against self-incrimination as it relates to the two cases against him.


Sources tell ABC News that Mueller's office is seeking cooperation from Manafort for information related to President Donald Trump and the 2016 campaign.

Manafort's wife, Kathleen, declined comment as she awaited the hearing.

Manafort hasn't been sentenced in that case, but the prospect of that prison time and more punishment in the District of Columbia may have induced him and his lawyers to seek to avoid the second trial.

The longtime political strategist is scheduled to stand trial in Washington on charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering, acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign principal, making false statements and obstruction of justice. Trump has not said whether or not he would pardon Manafort, but he has not publicly ruled it out. His former business partner, Richard Gates, has pleaded guilty and cooperated in Mueller's probe, testifying against him in the first trial.

"Once again an investigation has concluded with a plea having nothing to do with President Trump or the Trump campaign", Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said Friday.

In the Virginia trial, prosecutors said Manafort hid from U.S. tax authorities $16 million he earned as a political consultant in Ukraine to fund an opulent lifestyle that included purchasing multimillion-dollar properties, an ostrich skin jacket and other valuables.

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