What Does the Manafort Plea Mean for Trump?

Paul Manafort looks on as Donald Trump appears at the Republican National Convention in July 2016. A superseding crim

It is unclear what information Manafort is prepared to provide to investigators about U.S. President Donald Trump or that could aid Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

In exchange for dropping the other charges, Manafort has reportedly agreed to cooperate with Mueller's ongoing investigation.

The criminal information received reduced seven previous charges on money laundering, conspiracy, false statements and failure to register as a foreign agent.

In a statement Friday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that the Manafort plea "had absolutely nothing to do with the president or his victorious 2016 presidential campaign".

The charges in his second trial were set to include money laundering, conspiring to defraud the U.S., witness tampering and failing to register as a foreign agent.

Instead Manafort entered the plea. This meeting, which was arranged by Trump Jr., has reportedly been a major plank of the Russian Federation investigation and the question of whether Trump's campaign colluded with Russian Federation. After news of Manafort's conviction, Trump tweeted on August 22 that he felt "very badly" for Manafort and his family, adding, "U$3 nlike Michael Cohen, he refused to "break"-make up stories in order to get a 'deal.' Such respect for a fearless man!" As part of his plea agreement, Manafort has admitted his guilt to the rest of the bank fraud counts in Virginia, and in return, the government will not retry the other counts in which a mistrial was declared.

Manafort is said to have struck a deal after being spooked about the prospect of being convicted of eight further offenses at his upcoming trial and spending the rest of his life in jail.

Manafort must also cooperate "fully, truthfully, completely, and forthrightly" with the Justice Department in any and all matters that the government finds his cooperation to be relevant.

The ex-campaign chair reportedly lied to Trump and said his plane had "mechanical problems" on July 12 so that he would have to say in Indianapolis, where he arranged a breakfast between the candidate and the governor.

Nothing linking President Trump personally to any criminal acts surfaced during the first Manafort trial in Virginia. The president's former personal lawyer has separately pleaded guilty in NY. He abandoned his right to appeal his sentences in Washington and Virginia and agreed to forfeit homes in NY, including a condo in Trump Tower.

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Paul Manafort seated (L) as his lawyer speaks in court.

As part of the run-up to the second trial, Manafort's lawyers filed hundreds of pages in court to fight prosecutors' allegations - having brought two appeals unsuccessfully - and his legal fees mounted to more than $1 million, according to two people familiar with his case.

US President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort is set to plead guilty to more federal charges.

The charges include conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

The deal gives special counsel Robert Mueller a key co-operator who led the Trump election effort for a crucial stretch during the 2016 presidential campaign. It shows that "Manafort has something of value to offer Mueller", tweeted former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti. He sat straight or leaned his chin on his right hand throughout a lengthy recital of the charges to which he pleaded guilty. He also attended a June 2016 meeting at the Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer.

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