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Key Takeaways from Paul Manafort's Plea Deal With Mueller

15 September 2018
Key Takeaways from Paul Manafort's Plea Deal With Mueller

It is not clear whether any agreement with prosecutors would require Manafort to co-operate with special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation into possible co-ordination between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

Manafort has agreed to cooperate with Mueller's investigation in exchange for reduced charges, according to the New York Times.

Manafort has aggressively fought the charges against him and taken shots at his co-defendant, Rick Gates, who cut a deal with prosecutors earlier this year that did include an agreement to cooperate with the special counsel.

The language of the plea agreement is "really one-sided", she said. Trump himself has tried to downplay the role that Manafort played during his 2016 campaign.

It also includes Trump's longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty last month to breaking campaign finance laws - charges that were brought by the US attorney in Manhattan - after referral from Mueller.

Two years after being forced from his position as chair of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, 10 months removed from his indictment on multiple counts of unregistered foreign lobbying and financial fraud, and just days before his second trial was set to begin, Paul Manafort has thrown in the towel.

There was no sentencing Friday, and Manafort is still detained in prison in Alexandria.

No matter how you look at it, this deal has to be seen as a massive victory for Mueller and his special counsel team.

"Well of course they should be", Dershowitz said, though he noted that Manafort is "not a credible witness" and might not be able to prove Trump's guilt on an impeachable offense.

"The government has gotten everything that it could possibly want", one former top U.S. Justice Department Criminal Division attorney said.

Prosecutors on Friday presented new information about allegations they were prepared to reveal at trial, which was to have focused on Manafort's political consulting and lobbying work on behalf of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and the pro-Russian Party of Regions.

Manafort pleads guilty in cooperation deal;...

The Virginia case was the first brought by Mueller to go to trial, and the guilty finding by the jury - on eight of 18 charges - was a significant victory for Mueller's team.

Scott Dworkin, a Democratic strategist and MSNBC contributor, believes that Manafort's cooperation will spell the end of Trump's time in office.

It's also unclear how any deal would affect Manafort's pursuit of an eventual pardon from Trump.

The breach clause of the plea deal is remarkably bare, and the government has retained the right to use anything Manafort says in his cooperation meetings against him if prosecutors decide to pull out of the agreement and try him. "Bada bing bada boom", Manafort wrote to a colleague, prosecutors say.

The details of Manafort's plea were not immediately clear, including whether he would be providing any information to special counsel Robert Mueller as part of any deal. But those were only some of the charges against him.

Under the terms of the deal, Manafort was allowed to plead guilty to just two conspiracy counts, though the crimes he admitted cover the same conduct alleged in an indictment a year ago.

Moscow rejects the conclusions of USA intelligence agencies that it interfered in the American democratic process and Trump denies campaign collusion.