Manafort cuts plea deal
by Harvest Prude
Posted 9/14/18, 12:09 pm
WASHINGTON—Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, has agreed to a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller in exchange for reduced charges. Manafort will plead guilty to two out of the initial seven charges against him. In documents filed Friday and signed by Mueller, prosecutors charged Manafort with one count of conspiracy against the United States and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice.
Manafort’s trial is the first to surface from Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Manafort’s charges stem from his business dealings before he joined the Trump campaign. It is still unknown whether Manafort will cooperate with the Mueller investigation, something he has repeatedly said in the past he would not do. And Friday’s plea deal likely pulls the plug on a second trial Manafort was scheduled to face starting next week.
In August, a jury convicted Manafort on eight out of 18 criminal counts, including charges of tax fraud, bank fraud, and one count of failing to file foreign bank account reports. Jurors could not reach a consensus on the 10 remaining counts, and U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III declared a mistrial on those counts.
The president has previously praised Manafort for not making up stories “in order to get a ‘deal.’” Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani told Politico his client was not concerned about Manafort cutting a deal.
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Harvest is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute and a reporter for WORLD.