Transcript for Paul Manafort pleads guilty to two counts of conspiracy
I'm aerial assets at ABC news headquarters in New York taking a short break from our continued coverage of hurricane Florence in the Carolina has to bring you this breaking news pol can afford the onetime campaign chairman for president Donald Trump. Has agreed to fully cooperate. With prosecutors and pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy in federal court. On Friday this is a dramatic shift coming on the eve of a potential second trial I want to bring in Chief Justice correspondent Pierre Thomas rate now to shed a little bit of perspective. On this and here what what is entailed and his deal and what does this mean going forward. But again he basically pleaded guilty to two felony counts today. He faces years Ngo but as part of this deal he's agreeing to fully cooperate with federal authorities IE the special prosecutor Bob Muller's office. Now we don't know exactly what he will testify to we don't know exactly what the cooperation. Will mean but we know here's some prime areas of interest for the special counsel Apollo metaphor was at that infamous trump tower meeting. In which information was allegedly promise that would be damaging against. Hillary Clinton that will be provided. The other Russian government. We know he participated in that model want to know what if an evening. I would be useful from that meeting. He also was a part of the campaign the chairman at a crucial. Time right before trump was able to win the nomination. At that convention. So he's that he key figure and mullah have been applying the pressure month after month you recall. That he was convicted in the annals Alexandria federal court. Just a few weeks ago it connects would bank in money laundering and tax charges. So this wasn't a moment today where we. Did not know exactly what was going to happen in terms of whether he would cooperate he is and now there will not be a trial that was scheduled to begin as early as Monday. And so apparently you mentioned he would RD found guilty on several counts so what does he get out of this. Well the one of the things is that for the cooperation and one of the things that was pointed out in court today. Is that the prosecutors. Can recommend. A downward departures so and in other ways to reduce sentencing time. But that only happens if he fully cooperate. And a lot of people are wondering you know what was the mood like there in the courtroom there's been some tension around this a lot of people watching this very very closely. These chard is having nothing to do. With the trump administration but a lot of people wondering will this mean that Paul made a fort will cooperate now with Robert Mueller investigation and what will they find. That works what struck me about today's proceeding is. House somber. Matt if what appeared. He look back at his wife briefly before leaving the court. He did not a get a chance to to talk to her or tucked her. And he looked as a man who was. Fully understanding and contemplating the fact that he was pleading guilty to multiple counts felony counts after having already been convicted. And now he's a person who will only get some relief potentially if he cooperates with the federal prosecutors. And just quickly hearing you have to run out and prepare for world news tonight but does this mean that Robert ma it's he's needed this means that. Bombing a forty sure to face jail time. Well he's almost certain to face some jail time based on the fact that in the case that he was convicted of an Alexandria. Bar. Estimation is eight to ten years once you factor in sentencing guidelines and these additional charges spelling counts today. Carry years with them as well so again lots it to be determined but cooperation will be the key lease in the early shopping has to. When his Lee person's will be. Certainly a major headline coming out of that big story today Pierre Thomas thank you so much we'll see you on world news tonight. And we have another story that we continue to follow today Brett Cavanaugh the Supreme Court nominee has now been accused. Sexual misconduct allegations that stem from when he was in high school he is vehemently. Denying those allegations I wanna go out not to senior national correspondent Terry marais and and Terry I think that Kavanagh probably thought he was in the hottest seat last week during those those hearings on Capitol Hill but now that. Well now this and what this is is. Very murky are this is so that we have to make clear right away it is that it's not player talking to people on Capitol Hill today and in the White House. No one really knows what's going on because of the way this has been handled. So apparently a woman in California earlier this summer approached her congresswoman. With a story from about 35 years ago she alleges apparently I have not seen this communication. Sexual. Assault essentially from Brett Cavanaugh courted of the New Yorker Magazine Ronan for instance so much meat to reporting. He says he's there reviewed the letter and that it involves Kavanagh. Attempting to force himself on he denies that vehemently this woman wanted to remain confidential she did not want. Her name revealed. That is obviously difficult it under the constitution we have a right to know work users are cap and apparently does not but he is denied he ever did anything like this. And members of the Judiciary Committee were unaware of this that California got to give this over the Dianne Feinstein who's on the Judiciary Committee. And as she kept it to herself apparently until yesterday. When she forwarded to the FBI's part of the background check. That every judicial nominee goes through as an out here we are with an anonymous accuser about an allegation. 35 years ago which would be if sexual assault and one would expect this qualified for a judge but that Brett Cavanaugh really has no. No idea who this person is at this point he says and he denies that it happened in the rest of us including the senators have to vote on this nomination. Haven't gotten us to go on either so we are in. This is what happens these kind of battles I have to take every nomination cabinet nominations judicial nomination. There's all kinds of stuff that comes over the transom into the process this is one that apparently was not checked out now the FBI hasn't. One thing I can say is that the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Republican. Chuck Grassley has said he doesn't see anything here that should delay the vote on Kavanagh. Next Thursday. And it seems almost a sure bet that he will be confirmed but it could this tender that at all carriers are as of now is a support on. Well it looks political. We like a foregone conclusion I think most fair minded people perhaps including the judge himself would would want a proper process. To look at whether or aren't all aren't going to look at whether or not that's true and this is not. A process like that now the FBI has apparently taken a look at it. They have boarded their findings to the White House and the committee. This is something that should be handled no question in a better way to be fair to judge Kavanagh and to the accuser I saw this movie. This is the way the Clarence Thomas stuffed in that at the eleventh hour. At after the airing. There was there was great big show television. High prime time hearings in which they that two nominees had which Clarence Thomas and his accuser Anita Hill hatton out that not going to happen here. Because Republican controlled this process and I'm not gonna let it get out of hand so it is. Unfairly to everyone involved including the American people it seems to me gonna go forward it is a foregone conclusion. Yet and Terry we should mention Republicans are quickly jumped to kava not defense releasing a letter of support signed by 65 women. Though and allegedly knew him in high school and testified to his character in his behavior in high school so it sound like Republicans may have. Then expecting this and some blank. That's possible although there are women who signed that who said they did overnight and that guy catalyst clerks say that they raised it to do that overnight and the Republicans are also pointing out that. Kavanagh has passed fix background investigations of the course 25 years this never came up but we are in the meat to Arab. And so real that we as I think it's murky it's murky it's important and doesn't look like this that's gonna get to about. And we know that you'll continue to report diligently on it thank you so much Terry Murray and live from Washington we appreciate it see you on world news as well.
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