Paul Manafort, the longtime USA lobbyist and former election campaign chairman for President Donald Trump, has pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and witness tampering, and prosecutors said he had agreed to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Speaking at the hearing before U.S. District Court judge Amy Berman Jackson, Weissmann said the 17-page plea document included the terms of Manafort's expected cooperation.
Prosecutor Andrew Weismann told the court that the deal includes a "cooperation agreement", which could pose yet another major legal headache to Trump.
Manafort was facing a second trial set to begin on Monday on charges related to Ukrainian political consulting work, including failing to register as a foreign agent.
Previously, Donald Trump's former campaign chair Paul Manafort was found guilty on 8 counts of bank and tax fraud.
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Mark Warner, the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Friday that "any attempt by the President to pardon Mr. Manafort or otherwise interfere in this investigation would be a gross abuse of power and require immediate action by Congress".
He led the campaign in mid-2016 when Trump was selected as the Republican presidential nominee at the party convention.
Trump last month praised Manafort for not entering into an agreement with prosecutors, as the president's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen had. Manafort is the fifth person linked to Trump to plead guilty to criminal charges.
At the end of the segment, Dershowitz said that a pardon for Manafort is "off the table".
Prosecutors said "no additional criminal charges will be brought against the defendant for his heretofore disclosed participation in criminal activity" and will drop remaining counts "at the time of sentence or at the completion of his successful cooperation, whichever is later".
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As part of his deal, the government plans to seize four properties, including a almost $2 million house in Arlington, Virginia, owned by one of Manafort's daughters.
The move toward a guilty plea is another reversal for Manafort, who has fought vociferously - but unsuccessfully - against Mueller's probe.
The charges are one count of conspiracy against the United States and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice due to attempts to tamper with witnesses, according to a court filing Friday. "He's accepted responsibility. This is for conduct that dates back many years and everybody should remember that", said attorney Kevin Downing.
Manafort has not yet been sentenced in the Virginia case. The latter charge is just a fancy way of saying he got caught moving money around and doing shady stuff for oligarchs-you know, normal Washington D.C. stuff (the worst thing to ever happen to Manafort was winning an election, if we had President Hillary Clinton right now, Manafort would still be peddling the influence of foreign nations in our nation's capital).
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the Manafort case was unrelated to Trump. "Mueller would not have given him a deal unless Manafort was able to help Mueller make a case against someone else or significantly strengthen an existing case". As part of his plea agreement, Manafort has admitted his guilt to the rest of the bank fraud counts in Virginia, and in return, the government will not retry the other counts in which a mistrial was declared.
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