The Slatest

Paul Manafort Is Cooperating With the Mueller Investigation as Part of Plea Deal

A shot of Manafort's face
Paul Manafort arrives for a hearing at US District Court in June 2018 in Washington, DC.
Mandel Ngan/Getty Images

Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, pleaded guilty to two federal conspiracy charges at a Friday morning hearing. Manafort has agreed to cooperate with Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation as part of the plea deal, a prosecutor said in court.

The court documents indicated that, as part of the deal, the government will seize four of Manafort’s homes and money from several of his bank accounts, the New York Times reported. According to Politico, his deal involves a 10-year-maximum sentence, to be served concurrently with his conviction from a federal court in Virginia last month.

In that trial, Manafort was convicted in a federal court on eight felony charges related to bank and tax fraud. A mistrial was declared on the 10 other financial crime charges. He has yet to be sentenced but faces eight to 10 years in prison.

Friday’s plea deal will negate a second federal trial, scheduled to begin later this month in Washington, D.C. Manafort was accused of money laundering, conspiring against the United States, failing to register as a lobbyist, conspiring to obstruct justice, and lying to the DOJ. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, but five other charges involving money laundering and failing to disclose his lobbying work were dropped.

Both last month’s trial and the trial scheduled for this month originated from his work in Ukraine, where he worked for a pro-Russian political group. His first federal trial found that he had lied about millions of dollars that he made abroad to avoid paying taxes and later lied about his income to obtain loans. The second trial was to involve charges related to his decision not to register as a foreign agent.

Manafort is the fifth Trump campaign team member to plead guilty to criminal charges related to the special counsel investigation, and Manafort, unlike Michael Cohen, had remained publicly loyal to President Trump and opposed to any cooperation with the Mueller investigation. Trump brought Manafort on as his campaign chairman in June 2016, but the lobbyist resigned from the position just a couple months later, in August, as he was coming under scrutiny for his work in Ukraine.

Updated with news that Manafort was cooperating with Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Updated at 12:18 pm with more information about the plea deal.