Prosecutors file new charges against Paul Manafort, signaling a plea deal

Elias Hubbard
September 14, 2018

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has agreed with federal prosecutors to plead guilty, NBC News reports. It was unclear whether such an agreement would include his cooperation in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's election meddling during Trump's 2016 campaign.

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

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

The details of the plea deal ― including whether it indicates that Manafort has to cooperate with Mueller's team ― are not yet available.

Manafort was facing a second trial set to begin on Monday in Washington on charges related to Ukrainian political consulting work.

The charges in his second trial were set to include money laundering, conspiring to defraud the United States, witness tampering and failing to register as a foreign agent. It's the type of filing typically seen before a plea deal.

Manafort was convicted last month on eight counts of fraud, bank fraud and failing to disclose banks accounts. Jurors deadlocked on 10 other counts.

Prosecutors say that Manafort directed a large scale lobbying operation in the US for Ukrainian interests without registering with the Justice Department as required by the federal Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA.

Most of the charges Mueller brought against him stemmed from that pre-2016 Ukraine work, however some of the bank fraud allegations in Virginia overlapped with Manafort's time on the campaign and after. Even after his indictment last October, though, prosecutors say he continued to commit crimes by tampering with witnesses.

Manafort has been in jail since June, when the judge in the D.C. case, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, threw him in pretrial detention for alleged witness tampering. Court papers filed in the case indicated that he could have faced between 15 and 19 1/2 years in prison under federal guidelines.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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