Paul Manafort Agrees to Plead Guilty in Mueller Probe



Donald Trump's former campaign chief has reached a plea deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, according to reports.

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

The plea deal precludes the need for the second trial, sparing Manafort the steep legal fees of a second round of prosecution.

A superseding criminal information was filed against Manafort in Washington ahead of a scheduled court appearance later Friday morning. The hearing is expected to reveal whether Manafort has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

Paul Manafort has agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy against the United States and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, court documents say.

"Between at least 2006 and 2015, MANAFORT conspired with Richard W. Gates (Gates), Konstantin Kilimnik (Kilimnik), and others to act, and acted, as unregistered agents of a foreign government and political party", the criminal information reads. Regarding the Washington case, Manafort was accused of acting as an unregistered foreign agent, conspiring to launder money, and lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department about the nature of his work.

However, the deal could involve Manafort's cooperation with Mr Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

Manafort's cooperation would be viewed as significant to Mueller's investigation, given his work on the Trump campaign.

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The charges are related to Manafort's Ukrainian political consulting work.

Manafort has already been convicted of financial fraud in Virginia.

In August, in a separate trial in Virginia, a federal jury found Manafort guilty on eight counts of federal tax and banking crimes.

Prosecutor Andrew Weissman said in court Friday that Manafort had struck a "cooperation agreement".

The charges do not involve Manafort's work for U.S. president Donald Trump. The jury was deadlocked on the remaining 10 counts, which ended in mistrial.

By pleading guilty, Manafort is admitting to all of the alleged crimes with which he is charged that were related to his foreign lobbying efforts.

More from The New York Race for Trump to Watch Tonight? The three-week trial centered on income Manafort earned working as a political consultant for pro-Russian Ukraine.

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