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Trump Claims Russia Campaign Probe Illegal

18 September, 2018, 11:35 | Author: Ted Wilson
  • The Washington Post

The verdict was part of a stunning one-two punch of bad news for the White House, coming as the president's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, was pleading guilty in NY to campaign finance charges arising from hush money payments made to two women who say they had sexual relationships with Trump.

On Friday, though, the special counsel finally nabbed his white whale.

Schiff noted that Mueller would want to know what Manafort can tell him about the "background to the Trump Tower meeting, what took place at the Trump Tower meeting, and what took place after the Trump Tower meeting". As part of his agreement with prosecutors, he said he would tell the special counsel's office all that he knows.

Manafort, 69, entered the courtroom with a broad smile, wearing a dark suit and red tie, and mouthed a kiss to his wife.

Manafort's cooperation in this investigation has eliminated a potential 10-year prison sentence.

Five people from President Donald Trump's political orbit have now pleaded guilty to federal charges.

Manafort had other charges dropped but he could still go to prison, marking a steep fall from grace for a multi-millionaire who was often at Trump's side as the Republican candidate took US politics by storm in 2016.

Paul Manafort's guilty plea will cost him more than time behind bars.

NBC's "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd asked Schiff if Trump hired Manafort "without vetting him", in a haste to prevent Sen. Trump has not said whether he would pardon Manafort, but the president has not publicly ruled it out. Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, had suggested a pardon might be a possibility after the investigation was concluded. While the platform was being drafted, Trump campaign officials stepped in to block a provision about arming Ukraine to fight Russian-backed militias.

Trump himself has not yet addressed the plea directly. Nothing linking President Trump personally to any criminal acts surfaced during the first Manafort trial in Virginia.

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"This has absolutely nothing to do with the president or his victorious 2016 presidential campaign", she said. And when he worked on the campaign, emails show Mr Manafort discussed providing private briefings for a Russian businessman close to Vladimir Putin. He also was a part of the Trump campaign when the Republican Party platform was changed in a way viewed as more favorable to Russian Federation because it did not include support for arming Ukraine.

Protester Bill Christeson holds up a sign saying "guilty" as the first count of guilty comes in at the trial of former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, at federal court in Alexandria, Virginia on August 21. "And President Trump, if he was going pardon, he should've pardoned before Manafort agreed to cooperate".

The deal requires Manafort to "cooperate fully, truthfully, completely, and forthrightly with the government". Gates may have been a prosecution witness in his Washington trial as well. The feds obtain guilty pleas in more than 95% of the cases they bring because they are extremely careful to bring charges in only the strongest of cases.

"The illegal Mueller Witch Hunt continues in search of a crime", Trump tweeted out. He did not respond to questions about whether Manafort has been interviewed by Mueller's team or if Manafort's defense team remains in a joint defense agreement with Trump's attorneys.

He also gave up his Trump Tower apartment so he could retain another bank account, the plea deal said.

Manafort was once a business partner of another person who has figured in the Mueller inquiry: Roger Stone, who was once a political adviser to Trump.

I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family.

Cohen's case is separate from Mueller's investigation.

But the guilty plea also spares Manafort the cost of a weekslong trial that could have added years to the prison time he's already facing following the Virginia guilty verdicts.

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