Paul Manafort expected to plead guilty, avoid second trial

Paul Manafort expected to plead guilty, avoid second trial

Paul Manafort signalled Friday he intends to plead guilty ahead of a second trial in the U.S.as prosecutors filed new charging documents against Donald Trump's former campaign chairman.

"Manafort agreed to plead to conspiracy against the US and conspiracy to obstruct justice by tampering with witnesses".

Manafort is due to reappear in court Friday for pre-trial proceedings stemming from charges of money laundering for Russia-linked politicians.

It comes three weeks after Paul Manafort was convicted in a separate trial on eight counts related to financial fraud, and as the Mueller investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation increasingly pressures the White House.

In the new filing, prosecutors dropped the bulk of the charges against Manafort, filing new paperwork that includes just two counts that resemble in many ways the original allegations made in an indictment past year. Jurors deadlocked on 10 other counts.

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Rick Gates, Manafort's former business partner and the campaign's deputy chairman, pleaded guilty to lesser charges in exchange for his cooperation, later testifying against Manafort in Virginia. Yanukovych was ousted from the country in 2014, and Manafort's consulting work in Ukraine dried up, according to evidence presented by the prosecutors in the Virginia trial.

The details of the case have been laid out before.

The move toward a guilty plea is another reversal for Manafort, who has fought vociferously - but unsuccessfully - against Mueller's probe. But Manafort has not been charged with anything related to the campaign.

The D.C. trial that was averted by the new plea deal stood to pull back the curtain on the world of covert lobbying on behalf foreign powers in the nation's capital. Trump has not said whether he would pardon Manafort, but the president has not publicly ruled it out.

Manafort was accused of concealing from the IRS tens of millions of dollars in proceeds from his Ukrainian patrons and conspiring to launder that money through offshore accounts in Cyprus and elsewhere. Court papers indicated that he could have faced between 15 and 19 1/2 years in prison under federal guidelines.

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