President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort reportedly reached a deal to plead guilty today in US District Court in Washington, DC, ahead of the start of his second trial relating to his work lobbying for pro-Russian forces in Ukraine.
Manafort is expected to plead guilty to two counts, a federal conspiracy charge that accused him of money laundering, tax fraud, and lying to investigators, as well as a count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, according to a document filed in federal court first reported by NBC News on Friday.
The special counsel’s office has changed Paul Manafort’s criminal indictment to a plea agreement, according to Peter Carr, the spokesman for the special counsel’s office, CNN reports.
The filing was made in federal court on Friday, ahead of a pretrial conference at 11 a.m.
NBC News adds:
In one remarkable section of the charging document, prosecutors detailed the nature of Manafort’s work for Viktor Yanukovych, who was elected president of Ukraine in 2010 with Russia’s backing until he was removed from power as part of the country’s political revolution four years later. In 2010, he was running against Yulia Tymoshenko, and prosecutors said Manafort worked to undermine Tymoshenko in the U.S. by spreading stories that a senior Cabinet official was supporting anti-Semitism because the official supported Tymoshenko, who in turn had formed a political alliance with a Ukraine party that espoused anti-Semitic views.
Manafort privately coordinated with an unnamed senior Israeli official to spread this story as part of what he called an effort to have “Obama Jews” pressure the Obama administration to disavow Tymoshenko. Manafort wrote to one associate: “I have someone pushing it on the NY Post. Bada bing bada boom.”
“Manafort sought to have the Administration understand that ‘the Jewish community will take this out on Obama on election day if he does nothing,'” the charging document said.
DIRTY: MANAFORT orchestrated a scheme to have, "[O]bama jews,” as he described them, pressure the OBAMA administration to support his pro-Russian client YANUKOVYCH by "spreading stories in the US that a senior Cabinet official" was abetting antisemitism by supporting TYMOSHENKO. pic.twitter.com/u6YDhbig7v
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) September 14, 2018