Former Trump president Paul Manafort will cooperate in Russia's investigation

Former Trump campaign boss Paul Manafort will avoid another trial by pleading guilty to more charges

The former president of the Trump campaign, Paul Manafort, pleaded guilty to two federal crimes after closing a deal with US prosecutors and agreeing to cooperate with Robert Mueller's special investigation in Russia.

The measure allows Manafort to avoid a second criminal trial and ends its fight for more than a year against researchers in Russian research.

Manafort was convicted last month for eight financial crimes in a separate trial in Virginia and faces seven to 10 years in prison in that case.

September 14, 2018: outline of the room of the former president of the Donald Trump campaign, Paul Manafort, in a federal court in Washington.

AAP

On Friday, prosecutor Andrew Weissman told the court that Manafort had reached a "cooperation agreement" and pleaded guilty to charges related to his Ukrainian political consulting work.

"He has accepted the responsibility," said Manafort's lawyer, Kevin Downing.

"This is for behavior that dates back many years and everyone should remember that."

The charges are not related to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, which is the focus of the special lawyer Robert Mueller's investigation into possible contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Still, Friday's action gives Mueller another successful conviction and allows Manafort to avoid facing another costly public trial.

The trial would have focused on accusations that he acted as an unregistered foreign agent for the interests of Ukraine.

Mueller also obtained a key cooperator in Manafort, who participated in a Trump Tower meeting in June 2016 with a Russian lawyer that Donald Trump Jr. took despite being described as part of an effort by the Russian government to help the campaign. his father.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the Manafort case has nothing to do with Trump.

"This had absolutely nothing to do with the president or his victorious 2016 presidential campaign," he said.

"It has no relation".

2016: Paul Manafort in his role as campaign president before the opening session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

2016: Paul Manafort in his role as campaign president before the opening session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

AAP

Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said the president did nothing wrong.

"Once again, an investigation has concluded with an allegation that has nothing to do with President Trump or the Trump campaign," he said.

Under the terms of Friday's plea agreement, prosecutors withdrew most of the charges against Manafort, filing new charges including conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

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