'Impeachment is hell': Manafort deal increases pressure on Trump

18 September, 2018, 11:35 | Author: Carlos George
  • Трамп поставив під сумнів законність російського розслідування – новини

Manafort had long resisted the idea of cooperating even as prosecutors stacked additional charges against him in Washington and Virginia.

"Once again an investigation has concluded with a plea having nothing to do with President Trump or the Trump campaign", he said in a statement. The two conspiracy counts he pleaded guilty to on Friday (Saturday NZT) carry up to five years in prison, though Manafort's sentence will ultimately depend on his cooperation. As part of his agreement with prosecutors, he said he would tell the special counsel's office all that he knows.

But Zillow estimates don't always accurately reflect the real, debt-free value of properties, especially for Manafort, whose case largely revolves around his complex finances and alleged bank fraud related to mortgages on some of the properties he offered as partial backing for his plea deal. In the past, Trump had praised Manafort for holding strong and refusing to cooperate with prosecutors, unlike his former attorney, Michael Cohen.

Before Manafort pleaded guilty, Weissmann gave a 40-minute description of the criminal conduct in the case.

His defence team attempted to make the case about the credibility of longtime Manafort protege Rick Gates, attacking the government's star witness as a liar, embezzler and instigator of any crimes as they tried to convince jurors that Manafort didn't wilfully violate the law.

Todd asked Schiff about another comment from Giuliani that Manafort was "not disqualified" from a presidential pardon. NBC reported that Manafort traded his Trump Tower condo for the contents of one bank account and added a second Soho apartment to the mix in order to keep his Virginia property. Trump has not said whether he would pardon Manafort, but the president has not publicly ruled it out.

Manafort is due in D.C. federal court at 11 a.m. ET for an arraignment and plea agreement hearing.

The White House has said that Papadopoulos was a low-level volunteer on the campaign.

In exchange for the surrender, Manafort, 69 will be charged for only two of the eight felony counts he was indicted with at a Virginia court, and now faces a maximum penalty of 10 years behind bars.

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Trump himself has not yet addressed the plea directly.

"Between at least 2006 and 2015, Manafort conspired with Richard W. Gates (Gates), Konstantin Kilimnik (Kilimnik), and others to act, and acted, as unregistered agents of a foreign government and political party". Nowhere does the document exclude the Trump campaign or the president from that cooperation.

But while the White House projected confidence about its position, some officials privately acknowledged that they could not be sure what Manafort might expose about the campaign or about interactions with Russians.

Manafort attended the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting that Donald Trump Jr. agreed to after being promised "information that would incriminate" rival candidate Hillary Clinton. Trump's critics have pointed to the meeting as evidence of the collusion with Russian Federation that Trump denies.

The former Trump campaign chairman enjoyed what special counsel Robert Mueller's team called a "lavish lifestyle". Manafort's cooperation could mean there are more such cases involving big K Street players.

Prosecutor Andrew Weissmann walked the court through Manafort's efforts over a decade to influence power brokers in Washington without acknowledging that he was being paid tens of millions of dollars from pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine, a disclosure required by law. Manafort pleaded guilty to those charges. Trump has repeatedly criticized the cost of the investigation, calling it "the World's most expensive Witch Hunt".

"The pardon will only - in my view, will only hurt Trump".

Manafort may know less about Trump's sexual shenanigans and the women threatened or paid to stay quiet than fixer Cohen does. Trump's lawyers don't want their client to sit down for a face-to-face interview out of fear he would be accused of perjury.

Donald Trump's former campaign chair have to say? A grand jury used by Mueller has heard testimony about the meeting.

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