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The witness tampering landed Manafort behind bars before his trial, as the judge noted there was no other way to keep him from continuing to try to influence witnesses.

Prosecutors say that Manafort directed a large scale lobbying operation in the USA for Ukrainian interests without registering with the Justice Department as required by the federal Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA.

Manafort must also cooperate "fully, truthfully, completely, and forthrightly" with the Justice Department in any and all matters that the government finds his cooperation to be relevant. "It is totally unrelated".

Information submitted to court by Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Friday indicate seven charges in a previous indictment against Manafort were reduced to two. In that case, he was found guilty on eight counts of bank fraud, tax fraud and failure to report a foreign bank account.

It's unclear how the possible deal might affect Manafort's pursuit of a pardon from Trump.

The deal allows Manafort to avoid a second trial that had been scheduled to start next week in Washington. He did not elaborate on the agreement.

Another approach would be for him to plead guilty without cooperating in hopes of a presidential pardon.

"And prosecutors would naturally follow the money trail from Manafort's Ukrainian consulting activities".

The 69-year-old becomes the most prominent former Trump campaign official to plead guilty in Mueller's investigation.

As part of routine plea hearing questions, she asked Manafort, "Has anybody made any promises to you?"

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Manafort's guilty plea would come with a detailed admission of wrongdoing, which could shed light on his interactions with oligarchs from Ukraine and Russian Federation. He will also forfeit four homes and money in several bank accounts, according to the Times.

The charges in Friday's filing were contained in criminal information, a type of charging document that can only be filed with a defendant's consent, and typically signals a deal has been reached.

In March 2016, Manafort joined the Trump campaign and served as campaign chairman from June to August.

In December, Trump's former national security advisor Michael Flynn admitted to lying about his contacts with the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak. But Friday morning provided the latest, strongest evidence that the probe has not been hindered.

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

Cornell University professor of law Jens David Ohlin said it was hard to predict what information a cooperation agreement will yield but that Manafort's plea deal could be a serious problem for Trump.

If so, it will not be forgotten by the White House that Manafort fought a long and determined war with federal prosecutors at great personal cost while remaining loyal to the President.

Prosecutors indicated Manafort will work with Mueller's team, which is examining potential collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government before the 2016 presidential election. The network cited three unidentified sources with knowledge of the deal.

Westling agreed in court that the mistried counts in Virginia will be dropped with Manafort's admission of guilt to all his allegations.


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