UPDATED: President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in Washington D.C. today after striking a deal with special counsel Robert Mueller.
Manafort, who was found guilty last month on eight counts of bank and tax fraud in Virginia, was heading toward a second trial in Washington. In Virginia, he was found guilty on five tax fraud charges, one charge of hiding a foreign bank account, and two bank fraud charges – all felonies. That had him looking at spending the rest of his life in prison.
At a preliminary hearing today he plead guilty to federal prosecutors. Mueller’s team filed a document today, outlining charges of Manafort money laundering and tax fraud, and attempts to tamper with witnesses to obstruct justice.
Manafort will forfeit homes in New York and Virginia, and cough up the contents of five bank accounts, according to reports.
After Manafort was convicted in late August same day Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations, POTUS praised Manafort for refusing to “break” and cooperate with federal prosecutors investigating Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election.
“I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family,” Trump tweeted back then. ” ‘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!”
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