Manafort pleads guilty, will cooperate with special counsel

Minnie Murray
September 18, 2018

On Friday, though, the special counsel finally nabbed his white whale. "He did so knowingly, intentionally and willfully", Weissmann said.

The outcome, though not the across-the-board guilty verdicts prosecutors sought, nearly certainly guarantees years of prison for Manafort, who faces another trial this fall in Washington.

Manafort had denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty.

"You only get a deal like this if you go up the chain".

It is unclear what information Manafort is prepared to offer investigators about the president or that could aid Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

NBC's "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd asked Schiff if Trump hired Manafort "without vetting him", in a haste to prevent Sen.

"And so it's all the more helpful that Paul Manafort has said, 'You - you have me and I'm going to give you the truth and nothing but the truth, '" Starr said. Now that Manafort has entered the black box of federal cooperation with no apparent way for Trump to learn what he's told prosecutors and the grand jury, there is no upside-and still plenty of downside-for Trump to attempt to pardon Manafort.

"He knows nothing harmful to the president and the plea is the best evidence of that", Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who is representing Trump in the Russian Federation probe, told Reuters. While the platform was being drafted, Trump campaign officials stepped in to block a provision about arming Ukraine to fight Russian-backed militias. This includes the eight federal charges of which he was convicted last month in a jury trial in Alexandria, Virginia, the 10 additional charges on which the jury voted 11-1, failing to convict because of a lone holdout, and the two counts of conspiracy.

The charges to which Manafort pleaded guilty had nothing to do with the president.

His second trial would have been related to Ukrainian political consulting work, including failing to register as a foreign agent. "The only conspiracy, using criminal means, is the campaign to stop and then remove President Trump".

But while the White House projected confidence about its position, some officials privately acknowledged that they could not be sure what Manafort might expose about the campaign or about interactions with Russians. Manafort attended the infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians, Don Jr. and Jared Kushner created to get "dirt" on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. "There was no collusion with Russian Federation".

This courtroom sketch depicts former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, centre, and his defence lawyer Richard Westling, left, before U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, seated upper right, at federal court in Washington, Friday, Sept. 14, 2018, as prosecutors Andrew Weissmann, bottom centre, and Greg Andres watch. Manafort could shed more light on how those Russian contacts came about, what they amounted to, and what kind of cooperation, if any, actually took place. Manafort pleaded guilty to those charges.

The President himself continues to discredit the entire investigation as a "witch hunt" or a plot by the so-called "deep state" - the political-security establishment - in cahoots with the Democratic Party to tarnish his election win and ultimately impeach him. We still haven't heard that Donald Trump Jr. has been interviewed by Mueller, leaving open the possibility that Mueller is saving him as a potential target for the Trump Tower meeting. "It would not surprise me if he got time served for both cases", Allenbaugh said.

"If Manafort is willing to give Mueller information about Trump's contacts with Russian Federation, whether the contacts were direct or indirect, then this really is a disaster for Trump and his associates".

Cohen's case is separate from Mueller's investigation.

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