Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on Monday met with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office as part of his agreement to cooperate with the Justice Department in return for a limited prison sentence for federal charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice, Politico reported Monday.
Mueller is charged with investigating Russian government efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, including any possible links or coordination between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Moscow.
Two of Manafort’s attorneys – Richard Westling and Tom Zehnle – were spotted outside of Mueller’s office in Washington, D.C., talking with one of Mueller’s lead prosecutors, Andrew Weissmann, according to Politico. The three parted ways to get lunch then returned to the secure building.
Manafort’s plea deal requires him to cooperate, “fully, truthfully, completely and forthrightly … in any and all matters as to which the government deems the cooperation relevant.”
Manafort in August was found guilty of eight federal crimes in the Eastern District of Virginia, including filing false tax returns, bank fraud and failing to disclose an interest in a foreign bank account. He was set to face trial in Washington, D.C., in September for lying to the Justice Department and a number of other crimes, but struck a deal with Mueller’s office before it could go forward.
Mueller’s team dropped charges against Manafort and agreed to dismiss deadlocked bank- and tax-fraud charges from the Virginia trial only if Manafort would conclude a “successful cooperation” with the special counsel’s office.
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