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Trump’s ex-campaign chair in epic plea deal to cooperate FULLY with feds in Muller probe, Paul Manafort pleads guilty in dramatic deal with prosecutors and agrees to meet special counsel team without his attorney

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Trump’s former campaign chair apparently turns on president in collusion and obstruction of justice probe as he pleads guilty in dramatic deal with Robert Mueller’s team and agrees to meet special counsel without his attorneys

White House reacted by stating: ‘Manafort’s case is NOTHING to do with Trump’

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort allegedly made a deal to avoid a second trial in washington DC federal assizes on charges including money-laundering and non-registration as agent of a foreign govt
He agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, according to statements in court and pleaded guilty in federal court to two charges, with other ones dropped 
The 69-year-old international political operative has been sitting in jail for months following the revocation of bail for witness tampering before his trial last month in Virginia
He was convicted in the first trial on 8 counts while 10 charges hung after one juror held out
Following that conviction he is facing up to 10 years in prison, as well as, restitution up to $45million
As part of he deal he is giving up two bank accounts and five property including losing his 10-bedroom Hampton’s mansion, as well as, his Trump Tower apartment, purchased for $3.7 million
‘This had absolutely nothing to do with the President or his victorious 2016 Presidential campaign. It is totally unrelated,’ said the White House
Manafort was already convicted of bank and tax fraud after trial in Alexandria, VA, and faces spending the rest of his life in prison 
Manafort admits he laundered more than $30 million to buy property and goods and ‘cheated the United States out of over $15 million in taxes.’
Trump last month praised Manafort as a ‘brave man’ for refusing to ‘break’, with his TV lawyer, Rudy Giuliani  insisting his client had nothing to fear because Manafort would ‘speak the truth’
With the threat level escalating at the prospect of Muller’s team having unfettered access to Manafort, without his attorney, Giuliani has amended his post to remove mention of ‘Truth’
Guilty plea is the fourth by a Trump campaign official after  former Sec Adviser Michael Flynn, personal attorney Michael Cohen and foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos
Paul ManafortGuilty: Paul Manafort [photo], accepted his guilt at the Washington D.C. federal court hearing presided over by Judge Amy Berman Jackson, on Friday

President Donald Trump tweeted weeks ago praising his embattled former campaign chairman Paul Manafort who refused to ‘break’ in order to get a ‘deal,’  from the special counsel. On Friday Manafort crossed to the other side of the street, reaching an agreement to cooperate ‘fully’ with prosecutors. Theis raises the question of how Trump reacts towards the inexorable march of the confrontation with Bob Mueller and his team?
Paul Manafort stood before a federal judge and pled guilty to on Friday to two counts of conspiracy against the United States, telling a court he will be cooperating full with the Special Counsel, Robert Mueller who is investigating allegations of possible collusion by the Trump campaign with foreign elements and subsequent obstruction of justice to deter a probe into the first charge.
However on Friday prosecutors hit Manafort with a different set of charges, one count of conspiracy and another of conspiracy to obstruct justice – a charge related to witness tampering in the case. They dropped five charges dealing with money laundering and lobby disclosure violations.
Manafort told Federal judge Amy Berman Jackson that he had agreed to meet with the special counsel’s team without an attorney.
The stunning development that Manafort will assist prosecutors who went after him on a slew of money laundering and tax charges, directly contradicts a series of earlier reports that Manafort would cop guilty to the charges but categorically refuses to either cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller, or flip on the president.

Paul Maanfort pleads guilty 1Artist’s impression of Paul Manafort admitting his guilt before Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Federal court, Washington DC on Friday

Manafort’s cooperation, depending on the extent of it, could provide prosecutors with a valuable tool as they forge ahead with the Russia probe.
Trump’s former campaign chairman faces up to 10 years in prison for the charges. As part of his plea agreement, Manafort also agreed to forfeit five properties he owned in New York, including his apartment at Trump Tower and his sprawling estate in the Hamptons.
In addition, he will give up a brownstone he owned in Brooklyn, New York, his SoHo, Manhattan, condo, and an apartment in Chinatown. He must also forfeit two bank accounts at Federal Savings Bank and an account at Capital One.
Manafort, Friday stood in front of  Judge Amy Berman Jackson to accept his guilt on all charges at the Washington D.C. federal court hearing

He exchanged no glances with his wife, Kathleen, who sat in the second row and looked unemotional as prosecutors read off the accusations against her husband.
The charges included allegations that Manafort lied to the Department of Justice about his work for a foreign government and that he obstructed justice by attempting to influence potential witnesses in the case.
When Judge Amy Jackson asked Manafort if this was a ‘true and accurate statement of what you did in this case,’ Manafort replied, ‘It is.’
The former Trump campaign chairman pled guilty to two counts of conspiracy against the United States, charges that carry a maximum of five years in prison each.
Judge Jackson noted that these sentences could not be served concurrently.
Manafort will also face up to three years of supervised release on each count and a maximum $250,000 fine on each count.
Judge Jackson said she will wait to sentence Manafort until she receives a report on the sentencing guidelines from the Probation office. She will also allow on both sides to file objections if they wish to do so.
She also told Manafort that the law will require her sentencing guidelines to be more severe because his actions involved money laundering, obstruction of justice, and off-shore accounts and other ‘sophisticated means.’
She said the enhanced guidelines would mean Manafort should face between 210 and 262 months in prison – an amount of time that would have to be capped due to the 10 year maximum sentence.
Judge Jackson also noted that Manafort would not be eligible for parole because it has been abolished for federal cases.
Manafort’s defense team agreed that the statutory 10-year maximum ‘would be reasonable in this case.’ Prosecutors will still have a chance to file a motion asking for a lower sentence, and this could depend on the extent of Manafort’s cooperation with the special counsel’s office.
Judge Jackson gave attorneys on both sides 60 days to return to file a joint status report in the case.

Kathleen Manafort 3.JPGKathleen Manafort arrives at court on Friday, she went on to sit stoically through her husband’s plea deal on federal charges

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders issued a statement following the bombshell development in court.
‘This had absolutely nothing to do with the President or his victorious 2016 Presidential campaign. It is totally unrelated,’ Sanders said.
This had absolutely nothing to do with the President or his victorious 2016 Presidential campaign. It is totally unrelated.’ – White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.
A cooperation agreement would bind Manafort to answering questions from prosecutors about the gamut of questions about what he knows as they pursue their probe of Russian election interference in the elections and connections between President Donald Trump’s team and Russians.
Manafort attended the infamous Trump Tower meeting with Russian in June of 2016 that got set up after a British music publicist reached out to Donald Trump Jr. after getting an offer of dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Recently the president has expressed sympathy for Manafort, unlike his reaction to his former personal attorney Michael Cohen, who pled guilty to eight counts the same day Manafort was convicted.
‘I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family,’ Trump tweeted after the Virginia trial’s verdict. ‘Justice’ took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to ‘break’ – make up stories in order to get a ‘deal.’ Such respect for a brave man!’
There has been speculation the president could pardon Manafort, which the president has not tamped down.
He has praised his former campaign chairman for not flipping.
‘One of the reasons I respect Paul Manafort so much is he went through that trial — you know they make up stories. People make up stories. This whole thing about flipping, they call it, I know all about flipping,’ Trump told ‘Fox & Friends’ last month.
‘It’s called flipping, and it almost ought to be illegal. … For 30, 40 years I’ve been watching flippers. Everything’s wonderful and then they get 10 years in jail and they — they flip on whoever the next highest one is, or as high as you can go.’

Manafort’s plea deal includes extensive cash and assets forfeiture by Manafort. Prosecutors say he deprived taxpayers of $15 million and laundered $30 million in assets. Manafort used overseas income to purchase homes in the U.S., then took out millions in bank loans to fund purchases here without declaring the money as income.

While he faces up to ten years in jail, Manafort also agreed to forfeit five properties he owns in New York, including his apartment at Trump Tower and his sprawling estate in the Hamptons. Manafort bought his Trump Tower apartment 12 years for $3.675 million.
In addition, he will give up a Brownstone he owned in Brooklyn, his SoHo condo, and an apartment in Chinatown. He must also forfeit two bank accounts at Federal Savings Bank and an account at Capital One.
Manafort also owns a home in Alexandria Virginia and a home in Florida.

He exchanged no glances with his wife, Kathleen, who sat in the second row and looked unemotional as prosecutors read off the accusations against her husband.
When Judge Amy Jackson asked Manafort if this was a ‘true and accurate statement of what you did in this case,’ Manafort replied, ‘It is.’

He will also face up to three years of supervised release on each count and a maximum $250,000 fine on each count.
Judge Jackson said she will wait to sentence Manafort until she receives a report on the sentencing guidelines from the Probation office. She will also allow on both sides to file objections if they wish to do so.
She also told Manafort that the law will require her sentencing guidelines to be more severe because his actions involved money laundering, obstruction of justice, and off-shore accounts and other ‘sophisticated means.’
She said the enhanced guidelines would mean Manafort should face between 210 and 262 months in prison – an amount of time that would have to be capped due to the 10 year maximum sentence.

Paul Manafort's condo block in Alexandria VA.JPGOne of the benefits of the plea deal is that Katherine Manafort will still have use of the couple’s Alexandria, VA condo, [photo], which famously was raided by the FBI acting for Mueller’s probe 

Judge Jackson also noted that Manafort would not be eligible for parole because it has been abolished for federal cases.
Manafort’s defense team agreed that the statutory 10-year maximum ‘would be reasonable in this case.’ Prosecutors will still have a chance to file a motion asking for a lower sentence, and this could depend on the extent of Manafort’s cooperation with the special counsel’s office.
Judge Jackson gave attorneys on both sides 60 days to return to file a joint status report in the case.
‘Once again an investigation is concluded with a plea having nothing to do with President Trump or the Trump campaign. The reason: the president did nothing wrong,’ Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani said in a statement, CNN reported.

Kevin Downing 1.JPGPaul Manafort’s attorney, Kevin Downing,  [photo] addressing the media after the court proceedings said client’s guilty plea was for the sake of his family

Manafort attorney Kevin Downing told reporters: ‘He’s accepted responsibility. And he wanted to make sure that his family was able to remain safe and live a good life. He’s accepted responsibility and this is for conduct that dates back many years, and everybody should remember that,’ he said.
The cooperation deal comes after Manafort has already been convicted of federal crimes in a Virginia courthouse, and faces sentencing. It follows speculation that Manafort was following a different path, potentially pursuing a simple guilty plea or even seeking a pardon from Trump.
Prosecutors filed a new superseding indictment against Paul Manafort Friday, as the former Donald Trump campaign chair agreed to plead guilty to federal crimes.
Manafort appeared in court Friday morning in what Special Robert Mueller’s office announced was an arraignment and plea agreement hearing that began around 11:00 am.

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