I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family. “Justice” took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to “break” – make up stories in order to get a “deal.” Such respect for a brave man!
— Donald Trump, August 22, 2018
It looks like the President might have to reassess that claim about his one-time campaign chairman, who was convicted last month on eight counts, including five counts of tax fraud, one count of failing to file a financial document with the government and two counts of bank fraud.
Manafort was facing a second trial and over the past 48 hours, the rumor mill was alive with reports that he would ultimately plead guilty in order to save himself (and the government) some money, and perhaps curry favor when it comes time for sentencing.
The only question was whether he would cooperate with the government and the answer, apparently, is yes.
At a Friday hearing in Washington, Manafort admitted to some of the crimes he was found guilty of last month, including money laundering to the tune of some $30 million. He will now hand over four properties (a house in the Hamptons, a Manhattan home, a Brooklyn apartment and a place in Virginia). He will also give up any and all money in four bank accounts.
The “best” (scare quotes there for a reason) part of the charging document (embedded below) comes courtesy of the government’s account of how Manafort went about marshaling support for Viktor Yanukovych against Yulia Tymoshenko. Have a gander at this:
Yes, “Bada bing, bada boom”!
And now you’re going to prison.
Guess who published a story based on Manafort’s efforts? Here’s a hint:
That, folks, is why you cannot trust alt-Right propaganda sites. That, folks, is what the purportedly “fake” mainstream media is trying desperately to tell you about the likes of Breitbart and its progeny. That, folks, is what “fake news” actually looks like.
But the real kicker from Friday’s hearing in Washington was Prosecutor Andrew Weissmann’s characterization of the plea deal as a “cooperation agreement.”
As Bloomberg notes, “it wasn’t immediately clear the extent of [Manafort’s] assistance, but prosecutors said the dismissal of any remaining charges would wait until his sentencing or successful cooperation.”
Yes, we’ll have to wait and see how “successful” Paul is at “cooperating.”
Now let’s all sit back with the popcorn and wait on the President to launch into an angry Twitter screed.
Earlier, the Special Counsel’s office had indicated in a court filing that Manafort had reached a plea deal with Robert Mueller in which he will plead guilty to two criminal counts, allowing him to avoid the trial. The remaining five charges against Manafort will be dropped. He will also forfeit many of his assets as part of the deal, including an apartment in Trump Tower and one in downtown Manhattan; worth about $46 million, they would single-handedly cover the cost of the Mueller investigation.
Full charging documentManafort