Paul Manafort signals he intends to plead guilty before new trial

Washington DC.- Manafort faces charges including conspiracy to launder money and conspiracy against the United States

Even though Manafort and the Trump legal team were operating under a joint defence agreement, in which they would share relevant information, it appears the details of the deal caught Mr Trump's side flat-footed.

When Manafort eventually goes for sentencing, the agreement notes that Mueller will let the court know how much Manafort did or did not cooperate.

His trial, brought by special counsel Robert Mueller, was scheduled to begin with jury selection in Washington, D.C., Monday.

Another conviction would cap a dramatic fall for the global power broker and confidant of Republican presidents dating back to Ronald Reagan.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gives a thumbs up as his campaign chairman Paul Manafort looks on during Trump's walk through at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, U.S., July 21, 2016.

According to court documents, Manafort has agreed to cooperate with Mueller "in any and all matters as to which the government deems the cooperation relevant". "This had absolutely nothing to do with the President or his victorious 2016 Presidential campaign", she wrote.

Manafort had proffered information to the government already, Weissmann said in a federal court in a Washington, DC.

According to the court filing, the charge of conspiracy against the USA includes money laundering, tax fraud, failing to disclose foreign bank accounts, and acting as an unregistered lobbyist for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine.

Manafort had the choice to consolidate both cases into one but declined. He had been jailed since June as a result of the witness tampering charges. Jurors deadlocked on 10 other counts.


It's unclear how a guilty plea might alter his ultimate sentence, and some lawyers have questioned whether he is focused on winning a reprieve elsewhere.

Neither of the cases against Manafort relates to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, the central issue in the special counsel's investigation.

Manafort's case marked the first indictment in Mueller's investigation.

Manafort would become the most prominent former Trump campaign official to plead guilty in Mueller's investigation, which has cast a shadow over Trump's presidency.

Trump last month praised his former campaign aide for not entering into an agreement with prosecutors, as the president's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen had.

Earlier this year, Rick Gates, who served as deputy chairman for the Trump campaign, pleaded guilty to charges of plotting.

In addition to the criminal charges, prosecutors said in a court filing that Manafort could be forced to forfeit assets that would deal him a significant financial blow: four houses he owns, including an expansive retreat in the Hamptons, plus four bank accounts and the proceeds of a life insurance policy.

On Aug. 21, Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty in federal court in NY to campaign finance violations and other charges, saying he made payments to influence the 2016 election at the direction of a candidate for federal office.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

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