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Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort pleaded guilty in federal court Friday as part of a plea agreement that involves cooperation with Special Counsel Robert Mueller and allows him to avoid a second trial.

“I plead guilty,” Manafort, 69, told U.S. District Judge Amy Berman in Washington.

Prosecutor Andrew Weissmann told the judge that Manafort’s deal includes a cooperation agreement with prosecutors, who are investigating whether any Trump associates played a role in Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election. That could include interviews with prosecutors and testifying in court.

A defense attorney for Manafort told Fox News the deal includes “full cooperation.”

But the president’s team downplayed the significance of Manafort’s plea.

“Once again an investigation has concluded with a plea having nothing to do with President Trump or the Trump campaign,” Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani said in a statement to Fox News. “The reason: the president did nothing wrong.”

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Friday that Manafort’s decision is “totally unrelated” to the president.

Manafort, in a trial set to begin Sept. 24, had been facing seven counts of foreign lobbying violations and witness tampering in federal court in Washington.

In August, in a separate trial in Virginia, a federal jury found Manafort guilty on eight counts of federal tax and banking crimes.

Manafort faces up to 10 years on these charges in Washington. He still faces sentencing for his guilty verdict in Virginia.

As part of this agreement, Manafort has forfeited multiple bank accounts and several properties in New York. However, he will keep his properties in Florida and Virginia, where his family live.

Manafort attorney Kevin Downing told reporters after the court hearing it was a “tough day” for his client, “who has accepted responsibility.” He said Manafort “wanted to make sure that his family was able to remain safe and live a good life.”

The case was brought by Mueller’s team, which is probing potential crimes related to the 2016 election. But Manafort has not been charged with anything related to the campaign.

In August, Manafort’s bank and tax fraud conviction made him the first campaign associate of Trump found guilty by a jury as part of Mueller’s probe.

“I feel very badly for Paul Manafort,” Trump told reporters after the August verdict, adding that it had “nothing to do with Russian collusion.” The president has called Mueller’s probe a “witch hunt.”
Trump also said he had “such respect” for Manafort and called him a “brave man.” In comments interpreted to mean he was open to pardoning Manafort, Trump commended Manafort, saying he “refused to break” and “make up stories in order to get a deal.”

In the Virginia trial, prosecutors said Manafort hid income earned from political work overseas from the IRS while fraudulently obtaining millions in bank loans. Manafort had pleaded not guilty to all counts.

The prosecution’s star witness, Rick Gates – Manafort’s former business partner who struck a plea deal to cooperate with the government — testified during the trial that he and Manafort committed bank and tax fraud together.

Downing, Manafort’s attorney, suggested after the guilty verdict in August that Manafort was open to striking a deal before the second trial.

“He is evaluating all of his options at this point,” Downing said of Manafort.

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27 Comments

27 Comments

  1. Gerry

    September 14, 2018 at 8:47 pm

    Another case that has nothing to do with collusion. mueller, weissman and the rest of the scum bankrupted another con artist just to try and find some kind, any kind of crime that has to do anything with Russia. This is a total mockery of our non-justice system and makes fools of every prosecutor, every lawyer and every judge. This is pathetic and pitiful for these scumbags to be allowed to bankrupt a person just to get him to lie.

    • Richard Green

      September 14, 2018 at 8:52 pm

      The loony left will probably never read the 17 page agreement to understand the facts. However, they will probably get their talking points from the NYT and CNN that will spin it to fit their narrative. No Russian collusion except for Hussein, Hillary and the FBI/DOJ trying to “frame” Trump.

    • BRENDA N TEXAS

      September 14, 2018 at 11:59 pm

      If it weren’t for President Obama we might not have done the intelligence community assessment that we did that set up a whole sequence of events which are still unfolding today including Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation. President Obama is responsible for that. It was he who tasked us to do that intelligence community assessment in the first place. CLAPPER’S OWN CONFESSION
      AMERICANS WE HAVE TO TAKE BACK OUR AMERICA FROM THE EVIL CRIMINAL ACTS OF DEMOCRATS………………………..TO SOLVE AMERICAS PROBLEMS MAKE THIS CHOICE WE THE PEOPLE’ HAVE THE POWER OF OUR VOICES AND OUR VOTES, TO VOTE OUT THE ENTIRE LYING,CORRUPT, TREASONOUS DEMOCRAT PARTY COME NOV 2018, VOTE TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN AND TO END ALL CORRUPTIONS IN WASHINGTON GOVERNMENT

  2. Jerrell Strawn

    September 14, 2018 at 9:02 pm

    Another Meuller nothingbuger.

    • Dean Perry

      September 14, 2018 at 10:24 pm

      Tell that to Paul Manafort! LOL

  3. Paul G

    September 14, 2018 at 9:14 pm

    Just more crazy stuff to try to screw up mid-terms in 2 months. Manafort is playing his cards to his benefit and will give Mueller everything he knows about Russia, which is a map of Europe showing Russia, and that’s it.

  4. John F

    September 14, 2018 at 9:42 pm

    If we could have gone after Obama/Hillary in he same way Dem’s are going after Trump and any who worked for him, would they now be facing indictment and prison time? Of course, by Democrat rules, they have done NOTHING which warrants investigation – except, perhaps, by their own, sympathetic kind?

    • Dean Perry

      September 14, 2018 at 10:28 pm

      The “Dem’s” are not the one going after Trump…. it’s the Justice Department.
      If Trump and any who worked for him DIDN’T break the law then why the guilty plea from Manafort???????

      • Cindy

        September 14, 2018 at 11:54 pm

        Stfu you DOOFUS! You’ve been drinking to much liberal koolaide. Get help.

      • Chris

        September 15, 2018 at 12:41 am

        Dickhead Dean,
        It sure is the Dems going after Trump, as many were part of the Justice Dept (pussy boy Comey, and McCabe for two). And the crimes Manafort is pleading to have nothing at all to do with the campaign or imaginary Russian collusion. Not sure if you are as truly stupid as you sound or if you are just trying to mess with people. Either way, you are a dickhead.

      • Marjorie

        September 15, 2018 at 5:43 am

        Because he’s guilty of things they found from years before he even knew Trump. He’s guilty plea has nothing to do with Trump & Whitehouse. You need to keep up

  5. Diech Bowers

    September 14, 2018 at 9:44 pm

    Still would like to know how Russia interfered with the elections. After all this time and money
    spent and still nothing to show for it. Politics as usual.

  6. Capn Jack

    September 14, 2018 at 9:58 pm

    Mueller is about as crooked as they come. He is a disgrace.

    • Dean Perry

      September 14, 2018 at 10:25 pm

      And your proof????
      Look at the man’s record, Capn Jerk!

      • Chris

        September 15, 2018 at 12:46 am

        Once again you are ignorant as hell. You should look at Mueller’s record. Corrupt bastard put people he knew were innocent in prison. This while he was trying to “clean up the Mob” in Boston. Do a little research asshole!

      • denno

        September 15, 2018 at 5:31 pm

        Starting to look very “john kerryish”…..A brown bar aide to CG- 3rd MarDiv in Quang Tri….needs some “action time” to enhance resume, goes on a patrol and gets “wounded in the leg”, now a formal “war hero”….he goes back to being the aide again. Heads FBI, Boston, while a few of his employees are holding hands with whitey bulger’s mob. Manages to falsely imprison 4 men after withholding evidence that cleared them, 2 die in jail but the government pays out $125,000,000 for being corrupt assholes. See a pattern here?

      • gloria

        September 16, 2018 at 4:51 pm

        yes look at his history he worked for putin ahole

  7. Chris Ward

    September 14, 2018 at 10:14 pm

    I don’t like that.Something don’t smell right.I been behind u 110 percent and love your policies.But why would he do that when he’s looking at 80 yrd in federal prison were you got to sever 75% of your time.I hope I’m wrong!

    • denno

      September 15, 2018 at 5:22 pm

      The feds took most of his substantial wealth….it was just a “legal” shakedown, for show. I can’t wait until they start poking into “the clinton foundation”.

  8. Denise

    September 14, 2018 at 10:21 pm

    Mueller needs to go. I am tired of all the nothing going on but him taking our money.

  9. neo

    September 14, 2018 at 10:28 pm

    Let’s see …Manafort had a choice to make…plead guilty to something OR spend his entire savings on lawyers ,just to hear them say he is innocent….while Muleface and crew has UNLIMITED income from the taxpayers of America….they ought to make Muleface and his gang of liberal lawyers reimburse victims with THEIR PRIVATE FUNDS IF they are found innocent of what they charge them with…they see it as a poker hand….keep raising the stakes till the victim runs out of money, then they win.

  10. Bobby

    September 15, 2018 at 2:08 am

    Isn’t it amazing how many in DC are on the take? Manafort just happens to be one of ’em. Our President is the only one in DC who has morals and self-esteem. He’s got a few faults, everyone does, he’s not on anyone’s payroll. Look at what he does with his annual Presidential paycheck…

  11. Dusty

    September 15, 2018 at 3:31 am

    Amazing that one business man who happened to help Pres Trump has ended up in jail after no doubt doing much of what about 50% others are doing if they were to be investigated? Watch out any others out here on who is next. We have the sexual harassment taking down already quite a few high ranked men . Now sget Manafort and Cohen on his business deals too. Russia moves on and goes where. If I was Pres PARDON! Move out of this country somewhere quiet overseas.

  12. Lydia Legrand

    September 15, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    Xipe out the swamp Mr. President ALL OF THEM WITHOUT EXCEPTION. SOONER THE BETTER

  13. Nathan M.

    September 15, 2018 at 7:37 pm

    And ten thousand soyboys across the nation rubbed one out furiously to the thought that SURELY THIS WILL BE THE END OF DRUMP!
    Just like the Russian hookers, the pee tape and all the other fake news they were sure was gonna bring Trump down.

  14. Tony C.

    September 16, 2018 at 3:45 am

    If only the people both Democrats and Republicans had listened to Hillary. But trump BAMBOOZLED the GULLIBLE. He told them exactly what they wanted to hear. The coal miners are going to realize that it is time to change and get retrained for other jobs such as wind or solar. Enjoy the fresh air while it’s still there. Pruitt a guy who SUED the EPA 14 TIMES BECAME THE HEAD OF THE EPA❓ Oh come on, that’s like sending the Fox into the Hen House to count the chickens who then proceeds to REMOVE or LOOSEN the REGULATIONS that keep people SAFER. The PERSON who is PUT in CHARGE of your CHILDREN apparently never went to Public School. Let me repeat that. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos visited the nation’s largest public school district, one responsible for educating 1.1 million studentsannually, and didn’t bother to check out even one public school.
    What could she be thinking?

    According to the Education Department’s own data, there are more than 50 million students attending U.S. public schools during the 2017-2018 school year. At last count, only 10 percent of the nation’s schoolchildren — about 5.7 million — attend private schools.Remember when trump said he was going to DRAIN the SWAMP and he kept his word and then PUT the MOST UNQUALIFIED into his Cabinet like the 2 Mentioned above. DOESN’T that make you want to .

    • Chris

      September 17, 2018 at 1:03 pm

      Yes if only we had listened to Hillary…… we would all be screwed! There wouldn’t be any jobs, no booming economy. Just a lying sack of shit with no real ideas on how to make America great. Just her idea that it was “her turn” to be president. You had 8 years with that dickhead do nothing Obama and what a mess your stupid party made. Trump on the other hand is actually doing things that result in positive change for this country.

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