News

Law & the Courts

Manafort Agrees to Cooperate With Mueller as Part of Plea Deal

Paul Manafort (center) arrives at the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., November 2, 2017. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters)

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort pled guilty to two federal conspiracy charges on Friday as part of a deal with prosecutors that hinges on his cooperation with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

Manafort, 69, entered guilty pleas in a Washington, D.C. federal court to one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice after he attempted to tamper with witnesses.

The charges against him are not directly related to the Trump campaign, but prosecutors have devoted special scrutiny to his contacts with Russians and Ukrainians. Manafort resigned from the campaign after about five months when those contacts came to light in August, 2016.

Prosecutors plan to drop the rest of the charges in the case against the long-time political consultant pending his full cooperation with Mueller’s investigation.

“He wanted to make sure his family remained safe and lived a good life,” Manafort’s attorney Kevin Downing said of his client. “He has accepted responsibility.”

“Manafort cheated the United States out of over $15 million in taxes,” read a document detailing the offenses Manafort now admits to committing, including keeping funds in offshore accounts to hide them from the Internal Revenue Service.

The plea deal would allow Manafort a maximum sentence of ten years in prison, but he still faces a possible sentence from a separate trial in Virginia, in which he was convicted on eight felony counts, including tax and bank fraud. As part of the deal, he also waived his right to have a lawyer present for debriefings and interviews with Mueller’s team.

Manafort, a staple of the Washington lobbying world and adviser to Republican candidates for decades, originally fought the charges against him, and had not previously been expected to become a potential witness for the special counsel.

Most Popular

PC Culture

Hate-Crime Hoaxes Reflect America’s Sickness

On January 29, tabloid news site TMZ broke the shocking story that Jussie Smollett, a gay black entertainer and progressive activist, had been viciously attacked in Chicago. Two racist white men had fractured his rib, poured bleach on him, and tied a noose around his neck. As they were leaving, they shouted ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Strange Paradoxes of Our Age

Modern prophets often say one thing and do another. Worse, they often advocate in the abstract as a way of justifying their doing the opposite in the concrete. The result is that contemporary culture abounds with the inexplicable — mostly because modern progressivism makes all sorts of race, class, and ... Read More
U.S.

White Progressives Are Polarizing America

To understand how far left (and how quickly) the Democratic party has moved, let’s cycle back a very short 20 years. If 1998 Bill Clinton ran in the Democratic primary today, he’d be instantaneously labeled a far-right bigot. His support for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Defense of Marriage Act, ... Read More
PC Culture

Fake Newspeople

This week, the story of the Jussie Smollett hoax gripped the national media. The story, for those who missed it, went something like this: The Empire actor, who is both black and gay, stated that on a freezing January night in Chicago, in the middle of the polar vortex, he went to a local Subway store to buy a ... Read More
World

Ilhan Omar’s Big Lie

In a viral exchange at a congressional hearing last week, the new congresswoman from Minnesota, Ilhan Omar, who is quickly establishing herself as the most reprehensible member of the House Democratic freshman class despite stiff competition, launched into Elliott Abrams. She accused the former Reagan official ... Read More
Elections

One Last Grift for Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders, the antique Brooklyn socialist who represents Vermont in the Senate, is not quite ready to retire to his lakeside dacha and so once again is running for the presidential nomination of a party to which he does not belong with an agenda about which he cannot be quite entirely ... Read More
PC Culture

Merciless Sympathy

Jussie Smollett’s phony hate-crime story could have been taken apart in 24 hours, except for one thing: Nobody wanted to be the first to call bullsh**. Who will bell the cat? Not the police, and I don’t blame them. Smollett is a vocal critic of President Donald Trump who checks two protected-category ... Read More