Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Ex-Trump campaign boss reaches plea deal

Ex-Trump campaign boss reaches plea deal

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has agreed a plea deal to avoid a second trial, United States media report. The charges in Friday's filing were contained in a criminal information, a document that can only be filed with a defendant's consent and typically signals a deal has been reached.

The eight felony counts that Manafort was convicted of on August 21 weren't the only charges that he faced in the courtroom of Judge T.S. Ellis III in Alexandria, Virginia.

It's unclear how the possible deal might affect Manafort's pursuit of a pardon from President Donald Trump. Yet, Jackson said the request appeared to relate more to concerns about the political affiliation of Washington residents, rather than a unique amount of pretrial publicity.

According to court documents, he has agreed to plead guilty on Friday to two criminal counts in the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

As much evidence as Mueller's team had against Manafort in the first trial, they have even more evidence in the second trial.

Trump's former fixer and lawyer, Michael Cohen, admitted financial crimes and is helping federal prosecutors in NY. Manafort would be the fifth Trump aide to plead guilty in connection to the special counsel's probe.

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Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman.

Kathleen Manafort, wife of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, arrives prior to a pre-trial hearing for Paul Manafort ahead of his upcoming trial on a range of charges stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election at U.S. District Court in Washington, U.S., September 14, 2018.

Rick Gates, Manafort's former business partner and the campaign's deputy chairman, pleaded guilty to lesser charges in exchange for his cooperation, later testifying against Manafort in Virginia. Five other charges were dropped in the new court filing.

Manafort had denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty. "In order to hide Ukraine payments from United States authorities, from approximately 2006 through at least 2016, MANAFORT, with the assistance of Gates and Kilimnik, laundered the money through scores of United States and foreign corporations, partnerships, and bank accounts". "And prosecutors would naturally follow the money trail from Manafort's Ukrainian consulting activities".

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

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