Paul Manafort is cooperating with federal prosecutors at last.
After steadfast refusal to work with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team, Manafort on Friday reached a plea deal that included a "17-page cooperation agreement," The Washington Post reports. The former Trump campaign chairman agreed to plead guilty to two charges ahead of his second trial: conspiring to defraud the United States, and conspiring to obstruct justice.
President Trump has praised Manafort for his resistance to Mueller's investigation. He lauded Manafort, saying "he refused to 'break'" or "make up stories in order to get a 'deal,'" drawing a contrast between Manafort and his former personal attorney Michael Cohen. "Such respect for a brave man!" Manafort was convicted last month in a separate trial, on charges of bank and tax fraud.
The new "cooperation agreement" signals that the former lobbyist's D.C. case will be much shorter than his previous ordeal, in which his former associates and bookkeepers testified against him in a two-week trial. The rest of the charges against Manafort will be dropped when he is sentenced or when he finishes his cooperation with Mueller, prosecutor Andrew Weissmann said. Summer Meza
Paul Manafort, President Trump's former campaign chairman, has reached a tentative plea deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, people familiar with the matter told ABC News on Thursday.
In August, Manafort was found guilty of tax and bank fraud, and he's scheduled to start a second trial later this month in Washington, D.C., accused of money laundering, failure to register as a foreign agent, and witness tampering. Manafort and his senior defense attorneys spent more than four hours meeting with special prosecutors on Thursday, ABC News reports, and the deal is expected to be announced Friday in court.
Three people familiar with the matter said it is unclear if Manafort has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors or if this is a guilty plea to avoid trial. Catherine Garcia
Earlier this month, while jurors deliberated in Paul Manafort's bank and tax fraud trial in Virginia, lawyers for Manafort, President Trump's former campaign chairman, met with prosecutors and tried to reach a deal ahead of his next trial, people with knowledge of the matter told The Wall Street Journal Monday.
The negotiations came to a halt after Special Counsel Robert Mueller raised issues he had with the deal, but it's unclear what he objected to, the Journal reports. Because they didn't reach a plea agreement, a second trial in Washington is expected to begin next month, with prosecutors accusing Manafort of not registering for lobbying work he did for the Ukrainian government and conspiring to launder millions of dollars in income.
Manafort was convicted in Virginia on eight counts, but the jury deadlocked on 10 others, and prosecutors have until Wednesday to say if they will retry him. Catherine Garcia
Paul Manafort's financial fraud trial has come to a close — but that doesn't mean his fate is sealed.
Manafort, President Trump's former campaign chairman, was found guilty of eight counts of financial fraud Tuesday. However, a mistrial was declared on the other 10 charges against him, as the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict. That means that Manafort can be retried on those counts, reports The Washington Post.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the investigation into whether the Trump campaign was involved with Russian election interference in 2016, also led the team of prosecutors who made the case over the course of two weeks that Manafort should be convicted of tax evasion and bank fraud. The team will have to decide within one week whether they want to retry Manafort on the remaining 10 charges, BuzzFeed News reports. There is no sentencing date yet for the eight felony charges.
On top of Manafort's guilty verdict, he still has to worry about a second trial, set to start in September in Washington, D.C. That trial will determine whether Manafort will face additional consequences over charges of failing to register as a lobbyist for the Ukraine government. Those charges are the reason Manafort has been in solitary, albeit comparatively luxurious, confinement; a judge revoked his bail after he was accused of witness tampering in June.
So while Manafort reportedly received the news of his guilty verdict with nothing more than a stoic look, that may have been because he was thinking about how far he has yet to go. Read more at The Washington Post. Summer Meza
President Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was found guilty of eight counts of financial fraud Tuesday. The judge declared a mistrial on 10 of the counts in the bank and tax fraud trial, as jurors were unable to reach a unanimous verdict on those charges.
NBC News reports that Manafort was found guilty on one count of failing to file a foreign bank account, two counts of bank fraud, and five counts of tax evasion. Manafort, 69, faces 240 years in prison for the felony charges, reports CNN, most of which result from work Manafort did abroad before he joined Trump's team. The remaining 10 counts can be retried at a later date. Summer Meza
After three days of deliberations, there is still no verdict in Paul Manafort's tax and bank fraud trial.
Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, is facing 18 charges of tax evasion, bank fraud, and money laundering. The jury indicated it would stay until at least 6:15 p.m. on Monday night, later than they stayed on Thursday and Friday, which many took as a sign that a verdict might be announced before the day was done.
The six men and six women on the jury have been reminded on a daily basis by U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis not to listen to media coverage of the trial, so they can avoid hearing things like Trump on Friday calling Manafort a "good person," and saying his trial is a "very sad day." Manafort's attorney, Kevin Downing, responded that his client "appreciates the support of President Trump." Catherine Garcia
Judge in Manafort trial says he's 'received threats' and had 'no idea' the case would be this controversial
Paul Manafort's trial is coming to an end with some curious new developments.
Manafort, President Trump's former campaign chairman, is facing 18 charges of tax evasion, money laundering, and bank fraud. The jury has been deliberating since yesterday, after the prosecution made its case for two weeks and the defense decided not to call any witnesses. But the judge overseeing the trial, T.S. Ellis, emphasized Friday that those jurors will remain anonymous through the entire process, telling reporters he'd "received threats" and didn't want the jury to experience the same.
BuzzFeed News reports that Ellis denied a request to release the names of the jurors, saying "in a case of this notoriety," publicizing the names would cause people to "be scared." He said that he has been living with "the [U.S. Marshals'] protection at all times, they go where I go. I don't even go to the hotel alone," but added that he was surprised by the threats. "I had no idea this case would excite these emotions, I will tell you frankly," he said.
While Ellis said in the morning that he expected the jury to announce a verdict by the end of the day, it appears the jurors are not pleased to have given up their summer Friday hours. Jurors reportedly sent a note to the judge that said they want to leave no later than 5 p.m., and Manafort's attorney told Fox News that the jury wanted to wrap things up as early as possible.
Trump on Friday defended Manafort as a "good person," calling the trial "very sad." He declined to answer a question about whether he would offer Manafort a pardon if he is convicted. Summer Meza
Paul Manafort, former big-time political consultant to oligarchs and volunteer campaign chairman for President Trump, may not have mounted much of a defense in his federal trial on tax fraud and money laundering charges, but he does apparently have an airtight case for not wearing socks in court.
Manafort made $60 million and can’t find a sock dealer who accepts wire transfers from Cyprus pic.twitter.com/Kv2wJzZzCB
— Josh Schwerin (@JoshSchwerin) August 6, 2018
No, it isn't a lack of petty cash. It's fashion. Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni told CNN — which seriously asked about the socks — that Manafort has limited sartorial options for his trial, including no belt or shoes with shoelaces. That explains the loafers, but Maloni also explained that Manafort only has access to government-issued white socks, and "he doesn't like white socks."
Not only does Manafort have no socks, he "has no swag," says Esquire senior style editor Jonathan Evans. "In case you hadn't heard, white socks are actually kind of a thing right now. Wearing them with loafers is a move that perfectly balances throwback vibes with a bit of tongue-in-cheek stylistic irony. It's pretty cool, to be honest! Which is exactly why I wouldn't expect Manafort to get it." And in case you were curious about Manafort's lack of defense witnesses or evidence, The Late Show has a theory. Peter Weber