Paul Manafort faces additional charges ahead of hearing

Paul Manafort faces additional charges ahead of hearing

Jurors in Virginia last month found Manafort guilty, in a separate case, on two counts of bank fraud, five counts of tax fraud and one charge of failing to disclose foreign bank accounts, giving special counsel Robert Mueller a victory in the first trial arising from his investigation of Russia's role in the 2016 US election.

The latest superseding criminal information released on Friday by special counsel Robert Mueller distilled the charges against Manafort down to two - conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

A juror in the Virginia case said she discounted testimony from Gates but found the documents that prosecutors introduced to be "overwhelming" in favor of conviction.

If Manafort were to cooperate with Mueller, that could provide investigators new evidence or leads to chase; a guilty plea, however, would prevent weeks worth of headlines about the trial in the month before congressional elections.

President Trump has the power to grant Manafort a pardon for the eight counts he was convicted of in Alexandria as well as any charges he could be convicted of in the second trial-and for that matter, any convictions that may result if he were retried on the ten mistrial charges. Trump has raised the idea of a pardon for Manafort with White House aides and others, a source told NPR.

The planned plea, if accepted by a judge, would short-circuit his second trial scheduled to begin later this month in the District of Columbia on charges of money laundering and lobbying violations.

Donald Trump's visit to Ireland in November cancelled
President Donald Trump walks to Marine One while departing the White House in Washington, U.S., September 6, 2018. Politicians and activists in Ireland had indicated they would hold protests during Mr Trump's visit.

Manafort is expected to appear in court later Friday morning.

Another approach for Manafort would be to plead guilty without cooperating and perhaps later receive a presidential pardon. The remaining five charges against Manafort will be dropped.

In the Washington case, prosecutors were set to lay out in great detail Manafort's political consulting and lobbying work on behalf of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and the pro-Russian Party of Regions.

Manafort's legal team blamed most of his problems on former business partner Rick Gates, who pleaded guilty this year and testified against Manafort in Virginia.

However, none of the charges relate to collusion with Russian Federation in the election. "MANAFORT generated more than 60 million dollars in income as a result of his Ukraine work".

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