Paul Manafort is cooperating with federal prosecutors at last.
After steadfast refusal to work with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team, Manafort on Friday reached a plea deal that included a "17-page cooperation agreement," The Washington Post reports. The former Trump campaign chairman agreed to plead guilty to two charges ahead of his second trial: conspiring to defraud the United States, and conspiring to obstruct justice.
President Trump has praised Manafort for his resistance to Mueller's investigation. He lauded Manafort, saying "he refused to 'break'" or "make up stories in order to get a 'deal,'" drawing a contrast between Manafort and his former personal attorney Michael Cohen. "Such respect for a brave man!" Manafort was convicted last month in a separate trial, on charges of bank and tax fraud.
The new "cooperation agreement" signals that the former lobbyist's D.C. case will be much shorter than his previous ordeal, in which his former associates and bookkeepers testified against him in a two-week trial. The rest of the charges against Manafort will be dropped when he is sentenced or when he finishes his cooperation with Mueller, prosecutor Andrew Weissmann said. Summer Meza