Paul Manafort pleads guilty today, will cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller

Paul Manafort to plead guilty as part of plea deal with special counsel

Paul Manafort to plead guilty as part of plea deal with special counsel

President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort plead guilty Friday and agreed to cooperate in the special counsel investigation of possible campaign collusion with Russian Federation.

Speaking at the hearing before U.S. District Court judge Amy Berman Jackson, Weissmann said the 17-page plea document included the terms of Manafort's expected cooperation.

While nothing is mentioned within the plea deal, in regards to the Trump campaign, undoubtedly Paul Manafort has information that the Special Counsel believes will help them in their case against other members of the campaign, possibly including President Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and others. Manafort was convicted last month in the Virginia case of bank fraud and tax crimes.

Continued Downing: "He wanted to make sure that his family was able to remain safe and live a good life". Because of the Justice Department's official view that a sitting president can not be prosecuted, Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani have made a decision to fight the investigation as a political battle as well as a legal one.

"This had absolutely nothing to do with the President or his victorious 2016 Presidential campaign", she said, according to pool reports. At the end of the hour-long hearing, Manafort responded to a statement of offense with "I plead guilty".

Trump has sought advice from his attorneys on the possibility of pardoning Manafort and other aides accused of crimes, his attorney Rudy Giuliani previously told The Washington Post, and was counseled against pardoning anyone involved in the ongoing Mueller probe.

This does not necessarily mean that Manafort has any dirt on Trump, not that this is going to stop any sort of speculation that he does.

Prosecutors dropped five charges related to money laundering and failure to register as a foreign lobbyist.

Under the terms of the plea deal, prosecutors dropped the bulk of the charges against Manafort, filing new paperwork that includes just two counts that resemble in many ways the original allegations made in an indictment previous year.

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In total, Mueller has indicted or extracted guilty pleas from more than 30 people and three companies.

In a plea deal to avert a second trial on money laundering and illegal lobbying charges, Manafort agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy against the United States and another count of obstruction of justice. "It shows you've admitted your guilt", he said before the deal was announced.

Manafort had faced seven charges in Washington and faces another 10 possible charges in Virginia which had been declared in mistrial.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders insisted that the Manafort case was unrelated to Trump.

News that Manafort has chose to break is quite surprising given that he had the option when facing his first trial over the summer.

The plea agreement says Manafort agrees to cooperate in any and all matters as to which the government deems the cooperation relevant.

Behind bars in the Alexandria, Va., detention center, Manafort's dark hair has sprouted patches of gray.

That includes Manafort's former deputy, Rick Gates, who testified against Manafort in Virginia.

He has yet to be sentenced in Virginia, where legal experts say he faces eight to 10 years in prison under federal guidelines on the eight of 18 counts on which he was convicted.

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