Monday, 22 October, 2018

Manafort to cooperate with Robert Mueller's probe of Russian election meddling

Former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort Jose Luis Magana Associated Press File Former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort
Deanna Wagner | 15 September, 2018, 03:25

As part of the deal, Manafort, 69, could be required to cooperate with Mueller's probe into Russia's role in the 2016 presidential election and whether Trump's campaign colluded with Russian Federation in the 2016 USA presidential election.

He had steadfastly refused to cooperate with Mueller even as the Virginia jury convicted him for hiding from US tax authorities $16 million he earned as a political consultant in Ukraine to fund an opulent lifestyle and then lying to banks to secure $20 million in loans. Manafort, 69, was convicted last month of bank and tax fraud after a trial in Alexandria, Virginia.

The lengthy document says Mr. Manafort earned more than $60 million lobbying the U.S.as an unregistered agent of pro-Russian interests in Ukraine, then went to extensive efforts to launder the money, stashing it in offshore havens and even lying to his own accountants about it.

"Once again an investigation has concluded with a plea having nothing to do with President Trump or the Trump campaign", Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said Friday.

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Paul Manafort seated (L) as his lawyer speaks in court. "Mueller would not have given him a deal unless Manafort was able to help Mueller make a case against someone else or significantly strengthen an existing case".

Weissman referred to Manafort's plea deal as a cooperation agreement in court Friday, which could jeopardize his chances of a presidential pardon.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

Hey guys, the president's former campaign chairman just plead guilty to crimes including Conspiracy Against The United States, and it sounds like a pretty big deal. Manafort answered the judge's questions about himself, his plea and rights he will waive, including his right to a trial. And for a decade, prosecutors said Manafort and his associates laundered money, committed tax fraud, failed to report foreign bank accounts or file as a foreign agent and lied to investigators from the Department of Justice.

Document shows ICE got almost $10 million from FEMA, senator says
Other Democrats on the House Homeland Security Committee, which oversees FEMA , also weighed in on the matter. The Post noted that ICE asked Congress to place the $1 billion in funding in the continuing resolution .

Several former Trump aides also have pleaded guilty to charges related to Mueller's investigation.

Manafort has not yet been sentenced in the Virginia case.

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

But all of Manafort's crimes were Russia-related.

According to that report, Trump had initially picked former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) as his running mate, but Manafort "had another idea in mind".

He will also forfeit assets.

Earlier this year, Rick Gates, who served as deputy chairman for the Trump campaign, pleaded guilty to charges of plotting.

In December, Trump's former national security advisor Michael Flynn admitted to lying about his contacts with the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak. The feds obtain guilty pleas in more than 95% of the cases they bring because they are extremely careful to bring charges in only the strongest of cases.