The ‘lavish lifestyle’ Paul Manafort gave up in deal with Robert Mueller

Ken Starr, who served as the independent prosecutor investigating President Bill Clinton in the '90s, said in an interview Sunday on ABC's This Week that while "we don't know" how significant Manafort's information will be, the plea deal could be very helpful to Mueller's investigation.

The deal comes after Manafort was found guilty last month in his first trial in Virginia of evading taxes on more than $60 million of income earned working for Ukrainian politicians.

Prosecutors on Friday presented new information about allegations they were prepared to present at trial, which was to have focused on Manafort's political consulting and lobbying work on behalf of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and the pro-Russian Party of Regions. Presidential personal counsel Rudy Guiliani hinted that unlike another "flipper", Michael Cohen, who Guiliani has called a "scumbag", Manafort continues to enjoy favored status in the White House.

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Manafort will quit the money from three of his bank accounts - two at the Federal Financial savings Bank and one at Capital One.

One by one, the special counsel's office methodically turned allies of President Donald Trump into witnesses for its investigation - irking the commander in chief so much that he has suggested the commonplace law-enforcement tactic "almost ought to be illegal". They include Tony Podesta, a prominent Democratic lobbyist; Vin Weber, a former Republican member of Congress; and Gregory Craig, a former White House counsel in President Barack Obama's administration. Jason Maloni, Manafort's spokesman, told the Post, "It would be neither surprising nor suspicious that two political consultants would chat about the political news of the day, including the DNC hack, which was in the news". It also appears to vindicate the ability of special counsel Robert Mueller's team to secure convictions from a jury of average citizens despite months of partisan attacks, including from Trump, on the investigation's integrity.

Having already been convicted in Virginia, Manafort's cooperation might be the best way for him to reduce his time in prison.

"Manafort knew that Ukraine had a strong interest in the United States' taking economic and policy positions favorable to Ukraine, including not imposing sanctions on Ukraine", the criminal information states.

"ALSO, not allowed under the LAW", he said.

"If the president or his team were dangling a pardon in conversations with Manafort, that would go to the issue of obstruction of justice as well", Schiff said.

It is likely the Polish official in question is former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski, who previously headed a European Parliament monitoring mission to Ukraine, according to experts.

In addition to the witness tampering counts, Manafort had been formally charged with acting as an unregistered foreign agent, conspiring to launder money and lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department about the nature of his work.

Manafort will have to give up a brownstone, valued at more than $4 million, which he owns in the Carroll Gardens section of Brooklyn, one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the borough. He also disguised more than $13 million from Cypriot entities as loans for the objective of fraudulently reducing his reported taxable income, the special counsel claimed.

"For months, as part of their joint defence agreement, they would have been strategising together", Schiff noted, adding that Manafort might be able to share information on "what conversations" Trump might have had with Manafort "after the charges were brought against him".

"It is very important we have no connection", he wrote, according to the court filing.

  • Leroy Wright