Ken Starr: Manafort deal with Mueller 'really good for the country'

The Washington Post

The Washington Post

"The higher you go, the more insulated those people are", said Elie Honig, a former federal prosecutor from the Southern District of NY who successfully prosecuted more than 100 members and associates of the Sicilian mafia.

On Friday, the special counsel filed a criminal information-a charging document that is filed by prosecutors to indicate the criminal conduct to which the defendant will plead guilty-which details Manafort's numerous connections to foreign governments and the use of foreign bank accounts to funnel millions of dollars into the USA without paying taxes.

JOHNSON: Well, you look at the document, the plea deal requires Paul Manafort to talk about any and all matters of interest to the special counsel. Trump has repeatedly criticized the cost of the investigation, calling it "the World's most expensive Witch Hunt".

"It's not going to hurt him if he pleads guilty". "I don't think - given the nature of the fight that Manafort put up, the seriousness of the crimes, and the power of the evidence of those crimes, Jon - that this deal would have been offered absent some very powerful evidence".

Manafort was instrumental to President Donald Trump's securing the GOP nomination in 2016 and served on his campaign until August of that year.

Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's feeble campaign chairman, will get to take care of his $1.25 million dwelling at the BallenIsles Country Membership in Palm Sea scramble Gardens, Florida.

SIMON: And I understand there's language that if he gets a pardon.

It's already known that Papadopoulos told others on the campaign about his efforts to broker a meeting between Trump and Putin.

He was convicted last month of eight financial crimes in a separate trial in Virginia and faces seven to 10 years in prison in that case.

Trump himself has not yet addressed the plea directly. "Specifically, Manafort conspired to act and acted as an agent of the Government of Ukraine, the Party of Regions (a Ukrainian political party whose leader Victor Yanukovych was President from 2010 to 2014), President Yanukovych, and the Opposition Bloc (a successor to the Party of Regions that formed in 2014 when Yanukovych fled to Russia)", the court document reads.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders noted that point in a statement responding to the development.

Friday's move gives special counsel Robert Mueller another successful conviction while allowing Manafort to avoid facing another costly public trial in Washington. Gates may have been a prosecution witness in his Washington trial as well.

So far, the special counsel's office has charged 32 people, and six have pleaded guilty.

"I would say there is no prosecutor alive who's more rigorous than Bob", Eisen said, referring to Mueller.

Even if Manafort has helped Trump and Republicans, in one sense, by vitiating a high-profile trial this fall, he may hurt them politically - or, ultimately, legally - by cooperating with the Justice Department. Manafort will forfeit approximately $21.7 million in property and other assets as part of his plea deal with the government.

He also said he hopes the Mueller investigation does not lead to Trump's impeachment. Trump's lawyers don't want their client to sit down for a face-to-face interview out of fear he would be accused of perjury.

"I'm very disappointed no Democrats seems to be anxious about the corruption at the Department of Justice and the FBI regarding the Clinton email investigation, early stages of the Russian investigation", Graham said. Just before Labor Day, Mueller notified Trump's lawyers that he would accept written answers to some questions about the campaign and would delay making a decision for now about seeking answers from the president about his time in the White House.

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For months, Trump has praised Manafort for fighting the charges. Mr Giuliani had floated the possibility of a pardon. "He agreed with us", Giuliani told The Washington Post last month.

The agreement doesn't specify what if anything prosecutors hope to receive about Trump, but Manafort could be well-positioned to provide key insight for investigators working to establish whether the campaign coordinated with Russian Federation.

"It's not something to be considered during a pending investigation".

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