Mueller Drops Most of Manafort’s Charges as Part of Cooperation Agreement

Paul Manafort to plead guilty as part of plea deal with special counsel

"Between at least 2006 and 2015, MANAFORT conspired with Richard W. Gates (Gates), Konstantin Kilimnik (Kilimnik), and others to act, and acted, as unregistered agents of a foreign government and political party", the criminal information reads.

Manafort made millions of dollars working for pro-Russian Ukrainian politicians before taking an unpaid position with Trump's campaign for five months.

One of the potential witnesses against Manafort was Sam Patten, who pleaded guilty on August 31 to failing to register as a Ukrainian agent.

Manafort already faces as many as 10 years in prison in a bank and tax fraud case after a federal jury in Alexandria, Va., found him guilty in August.

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.

The criminal information received reduced seven previous charges on money laundering, conspiracy, false statements and failure to register as a foreign agent. Kilimnik was charged alongside Manafort in June with conspiracy to obstruct justice, but is unlikely to see his day in court because he is Russian and therefore out of reach of US prosecutors. It has no doubt occurred to Manafort that if he was convicted on eight counts in a trial that had less evidence and a sympathetic judge, he would be facing even more of an uphill climb in a trial with an unsympathetic judge and even more evidence.

It's not clear whether Manafort will cooperate with Mueller's investigation as part of the deal.

Millions Prepare For Potentially Catastrophic Florence
SC governor Henry McMaster also suspended his campaign and asked President Donald Trump for a federal emergency declaration. This satellite image taken yesterday shows Hurricane Florence off the United States east coast in the Atantic Ocean.

The charges include conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Paul Manafort arrived for a hearing at District Court in Washington, D.C. He will not go on trial after all after having reached a plea agreement with the Justice Department. But Manafort has not been charged with anything related to the campaign.

Note: This article has been updated with news that Manafort's plea deal is a cooperation agreement.

"Manafort privately coordinated with an unnamed senior Israeli official to spread this story as part of what he called an effort to have "Obama Jews" pressure the Obama administration to disavow Tymoshenko", NBC News reports.

Mueller is also under investigation on whether Trump obstructed justice, and is now in talks with the president's lawyers to secure a voluntary interview with him.

As part of the deal, Manafort, 69, could be required to cooperate with Mueller's probe into Russia's role in the 2016 presidential election and whether Trump's campaign colluded with Russian Federation in the 2016 USA presidential election.

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