Paul Manafort reaches plea deal, judge will reportedly reduce felony counts from 7 to 2

President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has reached a plea deal which reportedly has  decreased the felony counts against him from seven to two.

The new charges, reduced to conspiracy against the U.S. and conspiracy to obstruct justice, are expected to be announced Friday morning, according to Politico.

(Image: screenshot)

Manafort will plead guilty to the two charges Friday morning according to a court filing Friday, though it is not clear yet if will cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller’s office in the Russian investigation of interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The five remaining charges against Manafort, including money laundering, tax fraud, failing to register as a foreign agent and making false statements, will be dropped.

According to Politico:

The plea deal, set to be officially announced at an 11 a.m. court appearance in Washington, D.C., calls for a 10-year cap on how long Manafort will be sent to prison, and for Manafort to serve time from his separate Virginia and Washington cases concurrently, according to a source familiar with the discussions.

 

Manafort still faces possible charges in the Virginia case declared a mistrial, in which he’s been convicted on eight counts of bank and tax fraud crimes and could face eight to 10 years in prison.

The plea deal on Friday comes just days before jury selection in the second federal criminal trial was set to begin next week.

Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani noted that the president and his lawyers were not worried about a deal by Manafort.

“We can see a reason why he might want to do that,” Giuliani told Politico on Wednesday. “What’s the need for another trial?”

The president said last month that he felt bad for his former campaign manager.

Giuliani did not feel a plea deal would eliminate the possibility of a pardon by the president in the future.

“I don’t see why it would foreclose it, no,” Giuliani said.

According to The Washington Post:

As part of his deal, the government plans to seize four properties, including a nearly $2 million house in Arlington, Virginia, owned by one of Manafort’s daughters. The deal also calls for forfeiture of four financial accounts and a life insurance policy.

The move toward a guilty plea is another reversal for Manafort, who has fought vociferously — but unsuccessfully — against Mueller’s probe.

 

The court document noted that Friday’s original pretrial conference now would be an “arraignment and plea agreement hearing.”

Democrats are giddy at the notion that Manafort allegedly ‘flipped” by pleading guilty and there’s been a reported “cooperation agreement” with the Mueller probe as part of the plea deal.

Conservatives on the other hand, look at Manafort’s case much like Judge Ellis appeared to … a witch hunt.

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