Manafort Agrees to Plead Guilty to Avoid New Washington Trial

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Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort will plead guilty in federal court and forfeit many of his assets, according to a court filing Friday morning, signed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

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.

Seven charges in a previous indictment against Mr Manafort were reduced to just two in documents submitted to the court Friday by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, signaling a deal had been agreed with Mr Manafort's lawyers to accept guilt.

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

Manafort's guilty plea would come with a detailed admission of wrongdoing, which could shed light on his interactions with oligarchs from Ukraine and Russian Federation. The jury could not reach a verdict on 10 other counts.

It's unclear 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.

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At a rally in August, Trump said: "I feel very badly for Paul Manafort".

In the new filing, prosecutors dropped the bulk of the charges against Manafort, filing new paperwork that includes just two counts that resemble in many ways the original allegations made in an indictment a year ago. Manafort would become the most prominent former Trump campaign official to plead guilty in Mueller's investigation, which has cast a shadow over Trump's presidency.

He said that, should the deal include Manafort's cooperation with Mr Mueller's Trump-Russia investigation, it could be bad news for the U.S. president.

Manafort is expected to appear in a US district courtroom in Washington, D.C., later Friday morning. And it was Jackson (a Barack Obama appointee) who, earlier this year, removed Manafort's home detention status and ordered him jailed for tampering with witnesses. But Manafort has not been charged with anything related to the campaign. He led the campaign in mid-2016 when Trump was selected as the Republican presidential nominee at the party convention.

"It's not going to hurt him if he pleads guilty".

Prosecutors "applied tremendous pressure on him and. he refused to "break" - make up stories in order to get a 'deal, ' " the president tweeted last month.

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