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Wednesday November 20th, 2019 2:42AM

The Latest: Lawyer says Manafort cut deal to protect family

By The Associated Press
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort (all times local):

12:45 p.m.

Paul Manafort's lawyer says the former Trump campaign chairman cut a deal with prosecutors "to make sure that his family was able to remain safe and live a good life."

Kevin Downing says Manafort, of Alexandria, Virginia, has "accepted responsibility."

Manafort agreed to cooperate with the special counsel's Russia probe and pleaded guilty to two federal crimes as part of Friday's plea deal.

The move allows him to avoid a second criminal trial. He was convicted last month of eight financial crimes in a separate trial in Virginia.

Neither of the cases against Manafort relates to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, the central issue in the special counsel's investigation. Instead, they focus on financial crimes and Manafort's Ukrainian political consulting work, including failing to register as a foreign agent.

___

12:20 p.m.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has pleaded guilty to two federal charges as part of a cooperation deal with prosecutors.

The deal requires him to cooperate "fully and truthfully" with special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

The charges against Manafort are related to his Ukrainian consulting work — not Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, which is the central issue in the special counsel's investigation.

Friday's move gives Mueller another successful conviction while allowing Manafort to avoid facing another costly public trial.

Manafort was convicted last month of eight financial crimes in a separate trial in Virginia.

The White House says Manafort's decision to plead guilty and cooperate with Mueller is "totally unrelated" to President Donald Trump.

___

12:15 p.m.

A judge says former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's plea deal requires him to cooperate "fully and truthfully" with the special counsel's investigation.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson said in court Friday that Manafort must participate in interviews and debriefings, provide documents and testify in future cases.

The charges against Manafort are related to his Ukrainian consulting work — not Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, which is the central issue in the special counsel's investigation.

Friday's move gives special counsel Robert Mueller another successful conviction while allowing Manafort to avoid facing another costly public trial in Washington.

Manafort was convicted last month of eight financial crimes in a separate trial in Virginia.

___

Noon

The White House says former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's decision to plead guilty and cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller is "totally unrelated" to the president.

Press secretary Sarah Sanders says in a statement, "This had absolutely nothing to do with the President or his victorious 2016 Presidential campaign. It is totally unrelated."

Manafort says he intends to plead guilty to charges including conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice relating to his work for a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine.

The plea deal allows Manafort to avoid a second trial scheduled to begin next week in Washington. Manafort was found guilty by a Virginia jury last month of multiple financial crimes.

Manafort was instrumental to President Donald Trump's securing the GOP nomination in 2016 and served on his campaign until August of that year.

___

11:40 a.m.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has cut a "cooperation agreement" with prosecutors and intends to plead guilty to charges related to his Ukrainian consulting work.

The deal allows Manafort to avoid a second trial that had been scheduled to start next week in Washington.

Manafort was convicted last month of eight financial crimes in a separate trial in Virginia.

Prosecutor Andrew Weissman said in court Friday that Manafort had struck a "cooperation agreement." He did not elaborate on the agreement.

Manafort told the judge he wants to plead guilty.

Manafort's second trial would have been related to Ukrainian political consulting work, including failing to register as a foreign agent.

___

10:10 a.m.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is expected to plead guilty to federal charges as part of a deal with the special counsel's office.

A court filing Friday shows a plea hearing is set for later in the morning.

The plea deal would allow Manafort to avoid a second trial that had been scheduled to start next week in Washington.

Manafort was convicted last month of eight financial crimes in a separate trial in Virginia.

Prosecutors had filed new charging documents against Manafort. The charges in Friday's filing were contained in a criminal information, a document that can only be filed with a defendant's consent and typically signals a deal has been reached.

Manafort's second trial would have been related to his Ukrainian political consulting work, including failing to register as a foreign agent.

___

9:30 a.m.

Prosecutors have filed new charging documents against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, signaling he may plead guilty ahead of a second trial next week.

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

The charges include conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Manafort is expected to appear in court later Friday morning.

It's unclear whether any agreement with prosecutors would require him to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Manafort was facing a second trial set to begin on Monday in Washington on charges related to Ukrainian political consulting work.

___

8:10 a.m.

A court hearing was scheduled Friday for Paul Manafort amid reports that President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman was nearing a plea deal to avoid trial on charges stemming from work he did for pro-Russia political forces in Ukraine.

Several media outlets reported that Manafort is close to a plea deal with federal prosecutors. The New York Times said it was unclear whether such an agreement would include his cooperation in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's election meddling during Trump's 2016 campaign.

The developments were first reported by ABC News, which said details of the deal would be announced in court on Friday. The network cited three unidentified sources with knowledge of the deal.

Manafort has already been convicted of financial fraud in Virginia.

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