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Manafort plans to plead guilty to second set of charges

The former president of the Trump campaign Paul Manafort has agreed to plead guilty to Federal crimes in an audition Friday morning, ending his long lost battle with Special Counselor Robert S. Mueller III.

The planned request, if accepted by a judge, would short-circuit its second scheduled trial to begin this month in the District on charges of money laundering and lobbying violations. It is presumed that this morning he will present himself to his declaration of guilt in the federal court.

It was not immediately clear whether, as part of the plea agreement, Manafort would cooperate and provide any information to the special adviser in Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

People familiar with the discussions have previously stated that Manafort has no intention of cooperating with Mueller, so it is possible that any future agreement will allow him to admit guilt without providing information to investigators.

A criminal information – a legal document filed by prosecutors to detail the criminal conduct to be admitted by the defendant – was filed in advance of the plea. The document shows that Manafort intends to plead guilty to two crimes of sects that he faced during the trial: conspiring to defraud the United States and conspiring to thwart justice.

The document states that it will allow it to channel millions of dollars into payments in offshore accounts to hide its revenues from the Internal Revenue Service. "Manafort has defrauded the United States with over $ 15 million in taxes," says the document.

The dossier also offers new details about the various ways Manafort has tried to smuggle the US government and influence American public opinion about Ukraine.

In 2012, Manafort decided to help his client, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, by annihilating the reputation of Yanukovych's political rival, Yulia Tymoshenko, according to the document.

"Manafort claimed that & # 39; [m] your goal is to plant some smells on Tymo," according to the document. At the time when he had issued this statement, he was trying to get news from the United States to print stories that Tymoshenko had paid for the murder of a Ukrainian official, according to criminal information.

The document also says that Manafort "orchestrated a plan for Ho, as he wrote in a contemporary communication, & # 39; [O] bama jews & # 39; put pressure on the administration to disavow Tymoshenko and support Yanukovych ", says the document.

Manafort set out to spread stories in the United States that an American elder The government official "advocated anti-Semitism because the official claimed Tymoshenko," according to the document. "At one point, Manafort wrote to an associate:" I have someone pushing him on the NY Post. Bada bing bada boom. "The document does not identify the then Cabinet official and it was not immediately clear if such a story was published.

As part of its agreement, the government plans to take possession of four properties, including a quasi-house $ 2 million in Arlington, Virginia, owned by one of Manafort's daughters, and the agreement also includes the confiscation of four financial accounts and a life insurance policy.

The move to a culprit is another reversal for Manafort, who fought violently – but unsuccessfully – against Mueller's probe The 69-year-old political advisor was convicted last month in the federal court of Alexandria on charges of bank and tax fraud. [19659016] The jury selection in person for his trial in Washington was to begin on Monday, with opening statements scheduled for September 24 before US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson. Any agreement would not be final until Manafort admits his guilt before the judge, who should have approved the appeal.

Another condemnation would fall dramatically for the international mediator of power and confidant of the Republican presidents residing in Ronald Reagan. Manafort's decision could be mixed news for Trump, who contacted the consultant to act as president of the campaign in June 2016 while he was assuring the presidential nomination of the GOP.

If Manafort were to collaborate with Mueller, this could provide investigators with new evidence or clues to pursue; a declaration of guilt, however, would prevent the value of the weeks of the titles on the trial in the month preceding the congressional elections.

The long-time lobbyist has resigned from his position as president of the campaign in August 2016, increasingly attentive to his work on behalf of a Russia Friendly political party in Ukraine.

In a 40-year career, Manafort has redefined and extended Washington's industry of influence nationally and internationally, spreading successful campaigns into lobbying opportunities. But in the mid-2000s, there were signs that his career as a consultant had collapsed, and sometimes his finances seemed shaky. It is in Ukraine that has revived both – according to the indications of the magistrates who have violated the law.

Both cases brought against Manafort by the special adviser derive from his work in Ukraine. The jury in Virginia found that Manafort hid millions of dollars he did in Ukraine to avoid paying taxes and then lied to get loans when the political party that paid him was ousted from power and the funding dried up.

in Washington, Manafort faces conspiracy charges against the United States, money laundering, failure to register as a lobbyist, misrepresentation and conspiracy to thwart justice by trying to influence witnesses.

Manafort had the choice to consolidate both cases in one but refused. He was jailed in June due to allegations of witness tampering.

He has not yet been convicted in Virginia, where legal experts claim to have eight to ten years in prison according to federal guidelines on eight of the 18 counts he was convicted of. On the remaining 10 offices a crime was declared after the jurors could not reach a unanimous verdict.

It is unclear how a guilty plea can alter his last conviction, and some lawyers have wondered if he is focused on winning a truce elsewhere. Officials of the order forces have come to suspect that Manafort hopes to be forgiven by the president, according to people familiar with the issue that spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive issue.

Trump sought advice from his lawyers to forgive Manafort and other accused felons, his lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani previously reported to the Washington Post, and was advised to forgive anyone involved in the current probe Mueller. The president agreed to wait at least until the conclusion of the investigation, Giuliani said.

Several defendants collaborated or pleaded guilty in connection with the special board's probe, including Manafort's former right-wing man, Rick Gates; the former national security advisor Michael Flynn; Alex van der Zwaan, a lawyer who worked with Manafort; W. Samuel Patten, who admitted to having organized a Ukrainian business man to illegally donate the inauguration of Trump; and former foreign policy advisor Trump George Papadopoulos, who was sentenced to 14 days in jail last week after pleading guilty to lied to the FBI.

The decision of the once-a-time personal lawyer Michael Cohen to plead guilty last month in a federal investigation into Manhattan in particular has irritated the president, who has denounced him as a "pinball".

At the start of this year, Manafort had mocked Gates, his former business partner, for having signed an agreement with prosecutors who had granted him clemency in exchange for testimony against his former partner.

"I was hoping and expecting that my work colleague would have the strength to continue the battle to prove our innocence," Manafort said in February.

Kevin M. Downing, a lawyer from Manafort, also said this summer that there was "no chance" that his client could browse and collaborate with prosecutors.

This position aroused plaudits from Trump, who praised his former campaign president for his reluctance to or cooperate with the special adviser.

Prosecutors "exerted tremendous pressure on him and … he refused to" break up "- to invent stories to get an" agreement ", the president tweeted last month." respect for a brave man! "

Rosalind S. Helderman and Rachel Weiner contributed to this relationship.

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