Paul Manafort Pleads Guilty in Federal Court
The former campaign chairman for Donald Trump pleads guilty. Paul Manafort apparently reached a plea agreement with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
According to Fox News, Manafort’s defense attorney told Federal Judge Amy Berman that his client would like to enter a guilty plea. Manafort said in court he understands what the guilty plea means and he understands that by pleading guilty he would be giving up the right to appeal.
Manafort's trial was scheduled to kick off on September 24th. He was facing seven counts of foreign lobbying violations and witness tampering.
According to Politico, the plea deal includes a 10-year-max on any prison time he would have to serve.
Fox News reports prosecutors had filed new charging documents against Manafort. The charges in Friday's filing were contained in a criminal information, a document that can only be filed with a defendant's consent and typically signals a deal has been reached.
In August, in a separate trial in Virginia, a federal jury found Manafort guilty on eight counts of federal tax and banking crimes.
The case was brought by Mueller's team, which is probing potential crimes related to the 2016 election. But Manafort has not been charged with anything related to the campaign.
In August, Manafort’s bank and tax fraud conviction made him the first campaign associate of Trump found guilty by a jury as part of Mueller’s probe.
“I feel very badly for Paul Manafort,” Trump told reporters after the August verdict, adding that it had "nothing to do with Russian collusion."
Manafort attorney Kevin Downing suggested after the guilty verdict that Manafort was open to striking a deal before the second trial. “He is evaluating all of his options at this point,” Downing said of Manafort.