Friday, September 14, 2018

Trump Campaign Chair Paul Manafort To Plead Guilty To Reduced Charges

Donald Trump's former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, will plead guilty to reduced charges today in an effort to avoid a second high-profile, costly trial.
Former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort

UPDATE - Looks like I spoke too soon.

Talking Points Memo reports that the plea deal between Manafort and Special Counsel Robert Mueller includes an agreement to cooperate with the ongoing investigation.

That will not sit well with the Trumpster.

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Donald Trump's former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, will plead guilty to reduced charges today in an effort to avoid a second high-profile, costly trial.

According to reports, he will cop to one count of conspiracy against the U.S. and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice.

This would make Manafort the fifth Trump campaign team member to plead guilty to criminal charges.

The charges stem from his work as a political consultant in Ukraine.

From The New York Times:

In documents filed with the United States District Court in Washington, prosecutors from Mr. Mueller’s office charged Mr. Manafort with one count of conspiracy and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice. The prosecutors dropped five other charges encompassing money laundering and violations of a lobbying disclosure law.

So far, four former Trump aides have pleaded guilty to charges related to the special counsel investigation: Michael D. Cohen, the president’s longtime personal lawyer; Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser; Rick Gates, the former deputy campaign chairman; and George Papadopoulos, a former campaign adviser.

Mr. Manafort, who has repeatedly insisted that he would not cooperate with the special counsel, has been reassessing his legal risks after last month’s trial. He was found guilty in that case of eight counts of tax fraud, bank fraud and failure to report a foreign bank account, crimes that legal experts predicted were likely to result in a prison term of six to 12 years.

The Times goes on to say the agreement will include government seizure of four of Manafort's homes as well as the funds in several bank accounts.

A document filed by federal prosecutors indicates Manafort will admit to funneling millions of dollars in payments into offshore accounts to conceal his income from the Internal Revenue Service which resulted in "cheating the United States out of over $15 million in taxes."

There have been no reports that Manafort plans to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing-investigation.

I maintain that Manafort is "keeping his nose clean" in regard to his relationship with Donald Trump with the expectation that the president will step in and pardon Manafort.

Mark my words.








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