At Manafort’s arraignment at 11 EST in Washington, DC, the two felonies remaining after the plea deal was entered, Manafort entered his own plea of guilty, and details of the plea agreement were discussed.
According to reporters on the scene, Manafort has agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors in the ongoing case against his former boss, Donald Trump. In spoken details in court, prosecutors, in fact, told the presiding judge that Manafort had already been providing information prior to today’s announcement.
The deal dismisses deadlocked charges against Manafort from an earlier trial, but only after ‘successful cooperation’ with Mueller’s probe into Russian election interference and whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Moscow on its efforts.
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According to reporters on-scene, the cooperation deal is seventeen pages long.
This means that Manafort will likely not be charged in state courts for the offenses that were declared a mistrial in federal court in Virginia, but also that Trump will certainly not issue a pardon for his former campaign manager.
Trump’s current lawyer, former NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani, told reporters weeks ago that a plea deal from Manafort — absent a cooperation deal — would not have precluded a pardon from the President. Presumably, that possibility has passed with the news that Manafort will cooperate with Bob Mueller.
Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s campaign manager for the 2016 presidential race once previous manager Corey Lewandowski was dismissed and money from Russian oligarchs Aras and Emin Agalarov made its way to participants in the June Trump Tower meeting, has been held in prison for months since his bail was denied in preparation for the trial at which he’s already been found guilty of 8 felonies.
Thursday it was reported that Manafort had agreed to some sort of deal with the special investigators in charge of rooting out evidence of the campaign’s conspiracy with Russia to throw the election in favor of Donald Trump.
According to ABC News, their reporters spotted Manafort’s legal team arriving in a dark SUV Thursday morning, “pulling into a secret entrance out of public view at the building where Special Counsel Robert Mueller is based.”
Manafort’s second trial was scheduled for later this month in Washington, DC.
New evidence recently suggested that Manafort may be tried in state court as well, a process which would lead to convictions that the President would not be able to vacate through pardons.
Featured image via screen capture