Manafort Deal Includes 10-Year Cap On Prison Time

Paul Manafort will plead guilty, forfeit many assets in special counsel probe

Paul Manafort will plead guilty, forfeit many assets in special counsel probe

Prosecutors have filed new charging documents against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, signaling he may plead guilty ahead of a second trial next week.

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

The 69-year-old political consultant was convicted last month in Alexandria, Virginia federal court on charges of bank and tax fraud.

"I had hoped and expected my business colleague would have had the strength to continue the battle to prove our innocence", Manafort said after the Gates plea deal earlier this year. Trump has not said whether he would pardon Manafort, but the president has not publicly ruled it out. The jury could not reach a verdict on 10 other counts.

As part of his guilty plea agreement with special prosecutor Robert Mueller the former Trump campaign chairman will forfeit four of his homes: three in NY - including one in the Hamptons - and one in Virginia.

"If he's helping out Mueller, that's more bad news for Trump".

In the new filing, prosecutors dropped the bulk of the charges against Manafort, filing new paperwork that includes just two counts that resemble in many ways the original allegations made in an indictment past year. Manafort would be the fifth Trump aide to plead guilty in connection to the special counsel's probe.

In pleading guilty, Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman, would admit he broke the law - a concession he refused to make throughout his Alexandria trial and since he was charged almost a year ago in Washington.

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Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, leaves the Federal District Court after a hearing, in Washington, DC, May 23, 2018.

Mr Manafort is expected to appear in court later Friday morning.

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

Manafort is shown at the Republican convention in Cleveland behind Donald Trump on July 21, 2016.

Manafort agreed to plead to conspiracy against the USA and conspiracy to obstruct justice by tampering with witnesses. And during his Virginia trial in August, Manafort's lawyers spent considerable time painting Gates as a liar, embezzler, philanderer and turncoat who would say anything to get a lighter prison sentence.

The charges do not relate to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Writing on Twitter on August 22, Mr. Trump said, "Unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to "break" - make up stories in order to get a 'deal.' Such respect for a courageous man!"

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