Published: Sat, September 15, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Ex-Trump campaign chair Manafort to plead guilty to conspiracy charges

Ex-Trump campaign chair Manafort to plead guilty to conspiracy charges

Gates may have been a prosecution witness in his Washington trial as well. Usually it helps you get a pardon down the road.

Richard Pinedo, who was not involved with the Trump campaign, pleaded guilty in a case related to the Mueller probe in February to aiding and abetting interstate and foreign identity fraud by creating, buying and stealing hundreds of bank account numbers that he sold to individuals to use with large digital payment companies. They said "The President did nothing wrong and Paul Manafort will tell the truth"-taking out the truth part because that is very much the problem". But Friday morning provided the latest, strongest evidence that the probe has not been hindered. Places like Virginia and NY, both of which have Democratic attorneys general, could prosecute Manafort on state tax violations, for instance. The President had previously praised Manafort for refusing to "break" and...

In recent days, as the Manafort plea talks were ongoing, the President's legal team expressed confidence that if Manafort signed a cooperation agreement it wouldn't have anything to do with the President, according to a source briefed on their thinking. As a part of the deal, he pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy and one charge of conspiracy to obstruct justice.

A month ago, Manafort was found guilty in Alexandria, Va., on five tax fraud charges, one count of hiding foreign bank accounts, and two counts of bank fraud.

Manafort would become the most prominent former Trump campaign official to plead guilty in Mueller's investigation, which has cast a shadow over Trump's presidency.

Jury selection was due to begin on Monday in a second Manafort trial on charges including conspiring to launder money, conspiring to defraud the U.S., failing to register as a foreign agent and witness tampering. It could be directly related to the Trump campaign or merely tangential.

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A new set of charges was filed against Manafort Friday, reducing the number of felony counts he faces, and limiting the amount of time he will spend in jail to 10 years, it has been reported.

"He's accepted responsibility", said Manafort defence lawyer Kevin Downing after Thursday's court appearance.

He's also indicted former Manafort business associate Konstantin Kilimnik, now believed to be in Russia, for obstruction of justice and 25 Russian nationals and three Russian companies for interfering in the United States 2016 presidential election.

One of the potential witnesses against Manafort was Sam Patten, who pleaded guilty on August 31 to failing to register as a Ukrainian agent. The president agreed to wait at least until the investigation concludes, Giuliani has said.

The charges include conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice. He also attended a June 2016 meeting at the Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer.

Kilimnik is charged as a co-defendant in Manafort's DC criminal case, for the witness tampering accusation.

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