President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has agreed to plead guilty to charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States and witness tampering, court documents indicated on Friday. He had been jailed since June as a result of the witness tampering charges. The value of those was not listed, but, according to New York Magazine, the total value of assets he is forfeiting is $46 million.
Mr. Manafort will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy against the United States and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, according to documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
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 included a cooperation agreement.
Judge grants request to delay second trial amid reports of plea deal talks with Mueller; Fox News legal analyst Mercedes Colwin reacts on 'Outnumbered Overtime'. Trump has not said whether he would pardon Manafort, but the president has not publicly ruled it out.
At a rally in August, Trump said: "I feel very badly for Paul Manafort". He volunteered that year to work for free on the Trump campaign, shepherding the candidate through the Republican National Convention before being pushed aside as questions about his influence-peddling emerged.
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Manafort had denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty.
If Manafort decides to cooperate with Mueller's probe, that would deal a setback to Trump ahead of congressional elections on November 6.
Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort stands in a court room sketch, on the opening day of his trial on charges stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation in Alexandria, Va., on July 31, 2018. Prosecutors said they had to examine whether Russia-backed politicians and oligarchs served as a back channel to Russian Federation in the campaign.
However, the deal could involve Manafort's cooperation with Mr Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation. "And prosecutors would naturally follow the money trail from Manafort's Ukrainian consulting activities".