Ex-Trump Campaign Chief Paul Manafort Pleads Guilty In Russia Probe

Ex-Trump Campaign Chief Paul Manafort Pleads Guilty In Russia Probe

The plea agreement requires him to cooperate completely with the government, which includes giving interviews without his attorney present and testifying before any grand juries or at any trials.

Donald Trump's time in office is running out now that former campaign manager Paul Manafort has flipped and is cooperating with Russian Federation investigators, a Democratic strategist predicts.

Another case, another win for the special counsel team.

After months of refusing to assist Special Counsel Robert Mueller's inquiry into Russian interference and possible coordination between Trump campaign members and Moscow, Manafort finally took a plea deal on Friday and agreed to cooperate in return for reduced charges.

Moscow rejects the conclusions of USA intelligence agencies that it interfered in the American democratic process and Trump denies campaign collusion. But the court filing says Manafort admits to the actions.

Over a 40-year career, Manafort redefined and expanded Washington's influence industry domestically and internationally, parlaying successful campaigns into lobbying opportunities.

Manafort's conviction in Alexandria, Virginia, last month was at a trial arising from Mueller's investigation. Manafort answered the judge's questions about himself, his plea and rights he will waive, including his right to a trial.

On Twitter on August 22, Trump wrote: "Unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to "break" - make up stories in order to get a 'deal".

If so, it will not be forgotten by the White House that Manafort fought a long and determined war with federal prosecutors at great personal cost while remaining loyal to the President.

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Now Manafort is taking exactly such a deal. Despite word that his lawyers were negotiating with the special counsel's office, there was no indication that any kind of co-operative agreement was on the table.

The details of the plea agreement, and whether Manafort would cooperate with prosecutors, were not immediately known. "The reason: the President did nothing wrong".

The scope of co-operative plea deals are usually vague, and this one is no different.

Shortly after the story broke, the prosecutor confirmed that Paul Manafort is cooperating with the special counsel. And it suggests that investigators, who have brought charges against four Trump aides and two groups of Russian operatives, still have other targets in their sights. He also admitted that he helped a pro-Russian Ukrainian oligarch gain access to Trump's inauguration.

Manafort was going to prison one way or another.

Manafort has already been convicted of financial fraud in Virginia.

A new set of charges was filed against Manafort Friday, reducing the number of felony counts he faces, and limiting the amount of time he will spend in jail to 10 years, it has been reported. The once high-flying worldwide political player has been brought crashing down to earth.

Westling agreed in court that the mistried counts in Virginia will be dropped with Manafort's admission of guilt to all his allegations. Addressing reporters outside the courthouse, Manafort attorney Kevin Downing said that his client's decision was made in the interest of keeping his family "safe" and noted that it related to Ukrainian lobbying work that "dates back many years".

At the time of Gates' plea, Manafort issued a statement saying he "had hoped and expected my business colleague would have had the strength to continue the battle to prove our innocence".

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