Earlier this year, Manafort derided Gates, his former business partner, for striking a deal with prosecutors that provided him leniency in exchange for testimony against his former partner.

Manafort will lose several properties, the money in several bank accounts, and a life-insurance policy, which appear to have value well in excess of ten million dollars. Mueller was authorized to look into matters that arose from the Russian Federation investigation, leading to the charges against Manafort, which are not related to the Trump campaign or to Russian Federation. And last month Trump praised Manafort for being "brave" and refusing to "break" to take a plea deal.

The White House says Manafort's decision to plead guilty and cooperate with Mueller is "totally unrelated" to President Donald Trump.

He smiled broadly as he entered the courtroom Friday but gave terse and barely audible answers during questioning from the judge.

Despite Manafort's job leading the campaign, the White House sought to distance itself on Friday from him and his case. In DC, his seven criminal counts are rewritten as two.

Donald Trump has denied any Russian collusion
Donald Trump has denied any Russian collusion

A jury found Manafort guilty of eight counts of tax evasion, failing to report foreign bank accounts and bank fraud.

A presidential pardon now is "off the table; it's too little, too late", Dershowitz explained.

News that Manafort has chose to break is quite surprising given that he had the option when facing his first trial over the summer.

In brief responses, Manafort, 69, said he had sufficient time to consider his plea and that he was of sound mind.

Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani also commented, saying, "Once again an investigation has concluded with a plea having nothing to do with President Trump or the Trump campaign".

It was the second version of the statement.


Esquire's Charles Pierce wrote that with Manafort's guilty plea and cooperation deal with special counsel Robert Mueller, Pence "has one foot in the barrel now, too".

Press secretary Sarah Sanders says in a statement, "This had absolutely nothing to do with the President or his victorious 2016 Presidential campaign".

Manafort is still subject to whatever sentence is imposed in the Virginia trial. After news of Manafort's conviction, Trump tweeted on August 22 that he felt "very badly" for Manafort and his family, adding, "U$3 nlike Michael Cohen, he refused to "break"-make up stories in order to get a 'deal.' Such respect for a fearless man!" He concealed the income through a network of foreign banks and shell companies.

His DC trial was set to begin September 24. Trump has denied colluding with the Russians and the Russians have denied interfering. In late July, an attorney for Manafort told CBS News' Paula Reid that there was "no chance" his client would cooperate with the special counsel in its Russian Federation probe.

Mueller's team could also pull out of the agreement at any time if they feel Manafort is not fully cooperating.

As part of this plea agreement (which you can read in full here), Manafort has agreed to waive his right to have his counsel present during his future interviews with Robert Mueller.


After his arrest in October, he was detained by the court in his Alexandria, Virginia, home for more than eight months.

Manafort refused for months to assist Mueller's inquiry before admitting guilt to criminal charges that he concealed money from tax authorities.

"I plead guilty", Manafort said. But, in the end, the Mueller investigation will likely come down to one central question: Did senior members of the Trump campaign, with the explicit knowledge of Trump himself, actively work with Russian government actors to help sway the election so that Trump would win? He had been jailed since June as a result of the witness tampering charges. In previous court filings, prosecutors allege he had ties to the Russian GRU, a military intelligence agency.

Prosecutor Andrew Weissman said in court Friday that Manafort had struck a "cooperation agreement".

This story is breaking and will be updated.


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