Published: Sat, September 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Trump ex-campaign head Manafort changes mind, cooperates in Russian Federation probe

Trump ex-campaign head Manafort changes mind, cooperates in Russian Federation probe

While President Donald Trump is not mentioned in Friday's filing, nor is Manafort's role in his campaign, the news of the cooperation comes as the President continued to lambast the Mueller investigation on Twitter this week. Gates may have been a prosecution witness in his Washington trial as well.

It has been rumored that Trump would grant him a presidential pardon for his crimes.

Manafort made a similar unsuccessful request in his bank fraud and tax evasion trial in northern Virginia. Prosecutors dropped five other charges that included lobbying violations and money laundering.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gives a thumbs up as his campaign chairman Paul Manafort looks on during Trump's walk through at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, U.S., July 21, 2016.

Scott Dworkin, a Democratic strategist and MSNBC contributor, believes that Manafort's cooperation will spell the end of Trump's time in office. In the past, Trump had praised Manafort for holding strong and refusing to cooperate with prosecutors, unlike his former attorney, Michael Cohen.

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

On Twitter on August 22, Trump wrote: "Unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to "break" - make up stories in order to get a 'deal". Manafort is now only facing charges of conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

A White House spokeswoman quickly sought to distance Trump from the plea deal, saying Manafort's admission of guilt was "totally unrelated" to Trump.

The charges replace a raft of separate accusations that Manafort had failed to register as a foreign agent, lied to the government, laundered money and committed fraud.

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says that the crimes he's guilty of have nothing to do with Trump, but according to the indictment, Manafort did crimes throughout the campaign and the year 2017.

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 allegations do not involve his work with the Trump campaign.

"What we will find out in the days and weeks ahead is just how much Manafort knows and how much he can tell us about what Trump knew regarding Russian interference on his behalf", Rubin wrote.

He also agreed to forfeit some properties.

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. "It would not surprise me if he got time served for both cases", Allenbaugh said.

Trump has denied colluding with the Russians and the Russians have denied interfering. The feds obtain guilty pleas in more than 95% of the cases they bring because they are extremely careful to bring charges in only the strongest of cases. Papadopoulos has since agreed to work with Mueller's investigation.

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