Paul Manafort is finally cutting some kind of deal with federal prosecutors

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Do you realize that it’s been LESS THAN A MONTH since Paul Manafort was found guilty of eight charges in a federal court? It’s true – that happened in the last half of August. It feels like a lifetime ago. The federal prosecutors and Bob Mueller’s team were going ahead with plans to re-try the charges which ended in a hung jury, and Manafort has another trial, for different charges, set to happen this month. So Ol’ Ostrich-Coat Manafort was finally looking to cut a deal. I wonder what took him so long, honestly.

Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman embattled by criminal indictments, may no longer fight the charges related to his Ukrainian lobbying operation. He and the special counsel’s office are close to a deal for a guilty plea ahead of his upcoming trial, according to a source familiar with the matter. A deal is expected but the source cautioned the two sides have been close before. The incentive appears to be to reach a deal ahead of a pretrial motion hearing scheduled for Friday and before jury selection begins Monday in DC District Court. That’s also a week before Manafort and prosecutors make new filings in Virginia to discuss the charges and convictions he faces there.

A plea Friday would bring to an end to one of the most active criminal cases in the DC federal court system this year. Manafort’s lawyers have filed hundreds of pages in courts to fight prosecutors’ allegations and have brought two appeals unsuccessfully, and his legal fees mounted to more than a million dollars, according to two people familiar with his case.

Proceedings scheduled for Monday would kick off a second grueling, expensive, politically explosive three-week-or-longer trial in federal court. Manafort faces seven counts of foreign lobbying violations, money laundering conspiracy and witness tampering. The trial was likely to put on display the secret dealings of Washington’s lobbying and law firm elite.

[From CNN]

CNN has a lot more information at the link – I think it’s completely weird that Manafort would suddenly be like “omg, these legal fees are crushing!” The man was hiding millions of dollars in foreign bank accounts and he was part of some kind of huge, shady money laundering/lobbying web. You mean to tell me that Manafort doesn’t have tens of millions of dollars stashed away somewhere that even Mueller doesn’t know about? As for the timing of the plea deal… I suspect it was a game of chicken. Manafort was like “you’re not really going through with the SECOND court trial” and Mueller was like “OH YES I AM.” And Manafort was like “oh sh-t.”

Paul Manafort sports jailhouse jumpsuit, scruff at new lockup

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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64 Responses to “Paul Manafort is finally cutting some kind of deal with federal prosecutors”

  1. Lala11_7 says:

    Like MANY before him…he discovered that he didn’t want to deal with having a trial in Washington, D.C. he ESPECIALLY did not want to deal with trying to pick a sympathetic jury from a D.C. pool….

  2. Jaded says:

    He’s in deep sh*t with his Ukrainian and Russian connections – he owes tens of millions of dollars and they will collect one way or another. He’d be better off in jail for his own safety as well as his family’s.

    • Bella DuPont says:

      I think you’re soooo right. In fact, i think part of the reason he held out so long is the realisation that he’s not really got Trump to deal with, its Putin and his cronies he’ll be grassing out. The fate of the Russian spy and his daughter randomly being poisoned (in the most painful way imaginable), years after pissing putin off, would have sent him a strong message from Moscow. “Betray me and see what happens to you and your family.”

      I suspect he’ll do a partial, mini deal, not a full, spill your guts, give everything up one. Or he and his family will be living in protected custody for the rest of their lives.

      • Louisa says:

        His daughter recently legally changed her name. I wondered at the time if it had anything to do with her trying to “hide” from Putin.

      • Bella DuPont says:

        Smart move by her, but I doubt that that would be enough if he really decided to go after her/then. I kinda feel sorry for her though. She’ll be looking over her shoulder for the rest of her life.

      • Jan90067 says:

        Giving out a press release and interviews about changing her name don’t jive with “hiding” from Putin. I just think that she’s trying to distance herself from the taint of the name at this point. It seems to have served her nicely to be a Manafort up till now; perhaps even some financing for her movies came from daddy’s stash, who knows?

        But let’s be real, if Putin wants to find you, he will find you.

    • Snappyfish says:

      He isn’t safe in jail and he knows that. I expect when he is finished cooperating he will be given witness protection. The people he is “running” from uses things like Polonium 210 to kill you.

  3. Indiana Joanna says:

    Unless the deal includes at least 20 years in prison I will be disgusted. The man is a member of the Russian mafia that continues to kill people and hack elections throughout the world.

  4. Eric says:

    Mueller, I believe, will accept the plea deal because it saves time and one of these scenarios
    A) Manafort tells all (EZ included)
    B) Manafort gives up a big lateral fish (Jr or Jared)
    C) Manafort tells nothing; its a pardon trap
    D) Manafort tells nothing; state charges on tax/fraud charges
    E) both C and D
    Mueller holds all the cards. Manafort can be retried on 10 counts that were hung in VA. Manafort still must do significant prison time for 8 guilty counts. EZ has no real play on any scenario listed above.

    • FluffyPrincess says:

      I’m guessing choice B! Remember, Manafort was in that Trump Tower meeting with Jr. and Kushner about getting that Hillary info. So an eyewitness account will help Mueller in that way. Also if Manafort can say Bigly knew about that meeting in advance…well that goes a long way to helping the whole “collusion” thingy.

      Manafort would also have to know something about Trump that Gates (his right hand man) didn’t know. Remember, Gates gave it all up to Mueller for his plea deal — and as part of that plea deal Gates agreed to go to prison for a shorter time. . .so Manafort needs an Ace in hole for this plea deal.

      • Louisa says:

        Oh that’s a really good point about Gates. If Mueller had everything he needed from him then he wouldn’t bother with Manafort. We have to assume Manafort knows a lot more.

      • Lee Kuhl says:

        When I read that Manafort had cut a deal, I was salivating and extremely pleased by this new turn of events. Manafort has dirt on everyone, as he is a dirty man with no scruples or morals. I bet Drumpf is shaking in his boots now that this has developed. Mueller better get everything that Manafort has on this administration. And I can assure you that Drumpf was fully aware of that meeting in Drumpf tower because Jr doesn’t sneeze without his fathers directions.

    • Louisa says:

      I also wonder where Pence comes in to all this. Remember, it was Manafort who pushed for Pence as the VP pick. Wouldn’t be surprised if Manafort had dirt on him and mother.

    • holly hobby says:

      From what I read from the legal analysts on Twitter, a plea is actually an automatic admission of guilt so he is compelled to testify on the matters relating to his plea. It’s a big plus for Mueller. Plus Paulie’s assets were forfeited. Mueller made back and then some all the money Orange ass was complaining about re special council office. Those nazis should STFU about the taxpayer funds used to fund that office. Mueller isn’t the problem the crime family and all those cabinet heads with their wasteful spending is.

    • OldBeeyutch says:

      Apparently Mueller -already- has the dirt from Manafort, hence the plea deal.

  5. Mel says:

    Isn’t his son implicated as well? I always thought he would take a plea deal to protect junior.
    Just as an aside, I ABSOLUTELY believe that if cornered, Orange would throw his greasy-haired descendant under ALL the buses!!!

  6. Rapunzel says:

    EZ was complaining on Twitter last night about John Kerry and his illegal meeting with Iran. And questioning whether Kerry should be registered as a foreign agent. Methinks he’s upset that Manafort is spilling and wants to muddy the waters.

  7. Zut alors says:

    All I want to know is, what’s going on with the hair in the mugshot? Is that a toupee or a weave? Are toupees allowed in jail?

  8. Jay says:

    He could very well be concerned with money. Even if he has money hidden, if he uses it to keep paying high prices lawyers, the Government could put up a fuss about source of funds. Usually that’s for bond purposes but I’ve seen the Government go after attorneys fees as well. None of us want to be in a position where we have filed our appearances and then we have to fight to keep our retainer instead of fighting the case. And this is why multiple cases are so great for the Government: elect on one, see it through to the end (plea or trial) and even if the defendant is found NG on everything, there’s another case waiting in the wings. It’s exhausting and takes a real psychological toll. Likelihood of pleas increases when there are multiple cases. And keep in mind, generally, 97% of federal cases plead out to begin with.

    • Fluffy Princess says:

      “And this is why multiple cases are so great for the Government: elect on one, see it through to the end (plea or trial) and even if the defendant is found NG on everything, there’s another case waiting in the wings. It’s exhausting and takes a real psychological toll. Likelihood of pleas increases when there are multiple cases.”

      Oooh, nice information! Thank you!

  9. pippilongdivision says:

    I’m not sure this is so great. I think there is a real chance that this benefits our orange toddler, in that a plea means a whole lot of damning information about shady dealings with Ukraine’s pro-Russia government, etc. won’t become public headlines. Manafort cops a plea, gets a lesser sentence, gets to keep some stuff close to the chest, all in exchange for a pardon in the near future. His legal team is openly in communication with Drumpf’s, and they are all up in each other’s defense plans. I see no reason to think he’s not doing this with an eye to wearing his heinous bird-skin coats, just like he’s done everything else.

  10. Eric says:

    So Manafort has plead guilty on federal charges of Conspiracy against the US and Obstruction of Justice.
    It’s a pardon trap for EZ.

    Plus Manafort can be tried at the state level for the 5 other charges. Not pardonable.

    Plus Manafort surrendered 4 properties, 4 bank accounts, and a life insurance policy.

    Watch out EZ! Asset forfeiture!

  11. Eric says:

    Update 2:
    Andrew Weismann states that Manafort is under a cooperating agreement.

    EZ’s colon tightens

  12. Susan says:

    For a celebrity gossip site, you are doing an AMAZING job covering the Trump administration. I read every article – well done & thank you!

  13. why? says:

    The source familiar with the matter is Rudy G because last night we learned(from Rudy G) that Manafort has a joint defense with the Dotard, which means that he is sharing information about is trail with the Dotard’s lawyers.

    I never thought that Manafort would flip because of his deep connections with the Russians and Ukraine. I wonder if this plea deal includes a security detail for him and his family.

  14. jwoolman says:

    Manafort not only pleaded guilty to charges on reams of paper – he agreed to an incredibly extensive cooperation deal. He will be staying in jail until sentencing, which could be a long time away because how much he cooperates will make a difference in prosecution recommendations. He also has a max sentence total of 10 years this way.

    But the cooperation deal means he has to talk with the investigators any time they want forever. He apparently started talking with them last Tuesday but we just found out about it on Friday. One misstep, one lie that they can catch – and it all falls apart. It sounds as though he isn’t very sure about getting a Trumpy pardon.

    The question is what happens if Trump regardless throws caution to the hurricane winds and pardons him. He still is at risk for state charges, and I imagine those would seriously surface in case of a pardon. Maybe Trump will decide it’s not worth it since Manafort might have already spilled a lot in the past few days. Watch for him to go from praising Manafort to calling him a lying rat, if that is the case.

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