Lawyer says Manafort cut deal to protect family

Lawyer says Manafort cut deal to protect family

Lawyer says Manafort cut deal to protect family

It is not clear whether any agreement with prosecutors would require him to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

In August, Manafort's attorneys filed a motion requesting the trial be moved from Washington to Roanoke, Virginia. Trump has raised the idea of a pardon for Manafort with White House aides and others, a source told NPR.

If he pleads guilty, Manafort would avoid a trial that was expected to last at least three weeks and posed the potential of adding years onto the seven to 10 years he is already facing under federal sentencing guidelines from his conviction in Virginia. Manafort's decision could be mixed news for Trump, who tapped the consultant to serve as his campaign chairman in June 2016 as he was securing the GOP presidential nomination.

Wearing a purple tie beneath his dark suit, Manafort looked glum as the hearing unfolded, standing next to his attorney, Richard Westling, with a court security officer standing immediately behind him.

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.

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Schiff also pointed out that Manafort could conceivably open up about the joint-defense agreement he previously had with Trump, in which the two shared confidential information in a privileged setting.

Cornell University professor of law Jens David Ohlin said it was hard to predict what information a cooperation agreement will yield but that Manafort's plea deal could be a serious problem for Trump. Manafort is the fifth person linked to Trump to plead guilty to criminal charges.

In brief responses, Manafort, 69, said he had sufficient time to consider his plea and that he was of sound mind.

A jury found Manafort guilty of eight counts of tax evasion, failing to report foreign bank accounts and bank fraud.

In pleading guilty, Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman, would admit he broke the law - a concession he refused to make throughout his Alexandria trial and since he was charged almost a year ago in Washington.

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Friday's charging document replaces the prior indictment and calls for Manafort's forfeiture of real estate, money in four bank accounts and a life insurance policy. 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.

That includes Manafort's former deputy, Rick Gates, who testified against Manafort in Virginia.

According to the court filing, the charge of conspiracy against the USA includes money laundering, tax fraud, failing to disclose foreign bank accounts, and acting as an unregistered lobbyist for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine.

He's also indicted former Manafort business associate Konstantin Kilimnik, now believed to be in Russia, for obstruction of justice and 25 Russian nationals and three Russian companies for interfering in the United States 2016 presidential election.

Manafort agreed to work with investigators in the Russian Federation probe. "I'm confident", he replied, without saying whether Manafort's lawyers had given him this assurance.

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