Here’s why Mike Pence should be ‘sweating’ over Paul Manafort’s guilty plea

Paul Manafort to plead guilty as part of plea deal with special counsel

Paul Manafort to plead guilty as part of plea deal with special counsel

Prosecutors working for Mueller earlier filed a new set of charges against Manafort on Friday in which they accused him of conspiring against the United States when he worked as an unregistered agent of a pro-Russian political faction in Ukraine and of conspiring to obstruct justice by seeking to persuade two people who had helped with that work to offer inaccurate accounts to federal investigators. Manafort must also forfeit $46 million in assets to the government.

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.

He also agreed to cooperate fully with the government in criminal investigations and prosecutions, which includes providing documents, testimony, and performing undercover activities. Other counts were dropped. "It is totally unrelated". But Friday morning provided the latest, strongest evidence that the probe has not been hindered. "The reason: the President did nothing wrong".

Manafort is now expected to plead guilty to these two charges, as such informations are commonly filed immediately prior to a plea.

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The decision by Trump's onetime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to plead guilty last month in a federal investigation in Manhattan particularly angered the president, who denounced him as a "flipper".

"This had absolutely nothing to do with the President or his victorious 2016 Presidential campaign", she said.

One of the potential witnesses against Manafort was Sam Patten, who pleaded guilty on August 31 to failing to register as a Ukrainian agent.

The charges against Manafort are related to his Ukrainian consulting work - not Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, which is the central issue in the special counsel's investigation. And last month Trump praised Manafort for being "brave" and refusing to "break" to take a plea deal.

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According to the court filing, the charge of conspiracy against the USA includes money laundering, tax fraud, failing to disclose foreign bank accounts, and acting as an unregistered lobbyist for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine.

The planned plea, if accepted by a judge, would short-circuit his second trial scheduled to begin later this month in the District of Columbia on charges of money laundering and lobbying violations. "Everyone should remember that", Manafort's defense lawyer Kevin Downing told reporters outside the courthouse.

But Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, who has received a lot of flak over the a year ago for defending Trump at times despite being a self-described liberal, says Team Trump should be deeply concerned about Manafort's agreement to fully cooperate with Mueller investigation, though he stressed that it's unlikely Manafort would have any evidence that could lead to impeachment. The discovery of his witness contacts led to a superseding indictment in June and Manafort's jailing ahead of his trial.

Manafort is still subject to whatever sentence is imposed in the Virginia trial.

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Besides that, prosecutors extracted a guilty plea, a cooperation agreement from Manafort to tell them everything he knows and fork over any documents they request, an admission of guilt to the 10 remaining charges from the Eastern Virginia trial, and likely a multiyear prison sentence for Manafort. Manafort is now only facing charges of conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice. In February, the former campaign chairman called out his business partner, Rick Gates, for deciding to make a deal-which cut him some slack in exchange for testifying against Manafort.

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