Trump’s Former Campaign Chief to Cooperate with Investigation

15 September, 2018, 06:20 | Author: Myra Gill
  • BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI  AFP

The New York Times said it was unclear whether such an agreement would include his cooperation in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's election meddling during Trump's 2016 campaign.

As with his conviction last month on other charges, Mr. Manafort's Friday guilty plea concerns his business as a political fixer long before he worked for the Trump campaign.

The information says Manafort conspired to act as an unregistered agent for the government of Ukraine and its former pro-Russian president, Victor Yanukovych, generating more than $60 million in income.

After news broke of Manafort's plea Friday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said, "This had absolutely nothing to do with the President or his victorious 2016 Presidential campaign". The discovery of his witness contacts led to a superseding indictment in June and Manafort's jailing ahead of his trial.

As campaign chairman, Manafort personally offered private briefings about the campaign to the Russian industrialist Oleg Deripaska.

The president tweeted "Unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to 'break" - make up stories in order to get a 'deal.

And during his Virginia trial in August, Manafort's lawyers spent considerable time painting Mr Gates as a liar, embezzler, philanderer and turncoat who would say anything to get a lighter prison sentence.

Manafort's deal could also prompt other subjects of Mueller's investigation to cooperate, causing "the proverbial snowball to roll down the hill", Waxman said.

The ex-campaign chair reportedly lied to Trump and said his plane had "mechanical problems" on July 12 so that he would have to say in Indianapolis, where he arranged a breakfast between the candidate and the governor.


In February, a US federal grand jury charged 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies with plotting to interfere in the 2016 USA presidential election. In this scenario, Manafort, in vowing to cooperate with the prosecution, would be seeking to force Trump's hand on the issue of a pardon.

She has been a constant presence at her husband's court hearings and attended every day of testimony at Manafort's trial last month in Virginia.

The Virginia case was the first brought by Mueller to go to trial, and the guilty finding by the jury - on eight of 18 charges - was a significant victory for Mueller's team. His agreement is sweeping: "any and all matters as to what the Government deems the cooperation relevant".

The charges include conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

In addition to the financial and lobbying charges against Manafort, the special counsel's team has said it's investigating allegations he colluded with Russian Federation while working for Trump.

Manafort's second trial would have been related to Ukrainian political consulting work, including failing to register as a foreign agent. Mueller has collected folders upon folders of information since he began his investigation and spoken with dozens of witnesses.

Mr Trump went so far as to suggest in a television interview that plea deals with prosecutors "should nearly be illegal". But those were only some of the charges against him.

The forfeitures are part of an agreement to plea guilty to one count of conspiracy against the United States and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice by witness tampering.

Moscow rejects the conclusions of USA intelligence agencies that it interfered in the American democratic process and Trump denies campaign collusion.

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