Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Paul Manafort signals he intends to plead guilty before new trial

Paul Manafort signals he intends to plead guilty before new trial

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.

Paul Manafort (centre) is heckled as he walks into court.

On Thursday, ABC News reported that Manafort's legal team had reached a tentative deal with Mueller's team after an hours-long meeting at the special counsel's downtown Washington, DC, offices.

"I had hoped and expected my business colleague would have had the strength to continue the battle to prove our innocence", Manafort said in February.

The pressure on Manafort only grew after he was convicted last month in a Virginia trial on bank fraud and tax fraud charges brought by Mueller. Manafort was lobbying on behalf of a pro-Russian party in Ukraine, the Party of Regions, and was credited of resuscitating the career of its leader, Viktor Yanukovych, who won the presidency in 2010.

EU Parliament votes for action against Hungary on the Article 7 procedure
Liberal MEP Radu Ungureanu, as well as Hungarian minority MEPs Iuliu Winkler and Csaba Sogor, also voted against the measure. Szijjarto said Hungary was considering legal options to appeal the result because of the way the vote was tallied.


Prosecutors say that Manafort directed a large scale lobbying operation in the U.S. for Ukrainian interests without registering with the Justice Department as required by the federal Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA.

Prosecutors, who made a point of noting the activity occurred "at least through 2016", used bank records and other documents to show what they say Manafort did to hide evidence of his work for Ukrainian politicians, hide millions in proceeds in offshore accounts, and then spend the money lavishly on clothing, luxury items, homes and cars.

Several defendants have cooperated or pleaded guilty in connection with the special counsel probe, including Manafort's former right-hand man Rick Gates; former national security adviser Michael Flynn; Alex van der Zwaan, a lawyer who worked with Manafort; W. Samuel Patten, who admitted arranging for a Ukrainian businessman to illegally donate to Trump's inauguration; and former Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, who was sentenced to 14 days in jail last week after pleading guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Even after his indictment last October, though, prosecutors say he continued to commit crimes by tampering with witnesses. Court papers filed in the case indicated that he could have faced between 15 and 19 and-a-half years in prison under federal guidelines.

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

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