Hillicon Valley: Manafort to cooperate with Mueller probe | North Korea blasts US over cyber complaint | Lawmakers grill Google over China censorship | Bezos to reveal HQ2 location by year's end

Hillicon Valley: Manafort to cooperate with Mueller probe | North Korea blasts US over cyber complaint | Lawmakers grill Google over China censorship | Bezos to reveal HQ2 location by year's end
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BOMBSHELL ALERT: Former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortMueller subpoenas former Cambridge Analytica employee Make the special counsel report public for the sake of Americans Paul Manafort should not be sentenced to 20 years in prison MORE pleaded guilty to two federal charges Friday in a deal that includes cooperation with special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's investigation.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson said in court on Friday that Manafort has agreed to submit to interviews with the special counsel, testify in any future cases and provide related documents.

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Manafort has also agreed to forfeit several properties and the current funds held in several bank accounts.

"I plead guilty," Manafort told the judge quietly after answering a series of questions from the judge. 

Manafort gave the guilty plea on one count of conspiracy against the United States and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice by witness tampering.

His cooperation agreement with Mueller means that Manafort will interview with the special counsel, testify in any upcoming cases and hand over documents related to the investigation, putting a new body of evidence at Mueller's disposal.

Manafort also waived his right to have an attorney present at any interviews with federal investigators, and the agreement makes no mention of the Trump campaign – meaning the topic is on the table for those interviews.

While Manafort only led the Trump campaign for three months, he did so during a period of time that has come under heavy scrutiny by Mueller: He was one of several Trump campaign officials at a July 2016 Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer, who was offering political dirt on Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFemale Dems see double standard in Klobuchar accusations Klobuchar, O'Rourke visit Wisconsin as 2020 race heats up McCabe's shocking claims prove the bloodless coup rolls on MORE.

Read the cooperation agreement here.

 

NORTH KOREA WARNS US NOT TO NUKE TALKS: North Korea blasted a U.S. complaint alleging the country was behind several global cyberattacks, calling the charges a "smear campaign" that could undermine talks between the two countries.

Han Yong Song, a researcher of the Institute for American Studies of the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in a statement Friday issued through the state-run Korean Central News Agency that the man listed in the complaint, Park Jin Hyok, was a "non-entity."

He also denied the country's involvement in the 2014 Sony hack and last year's global WannaCry ransomware attack, calling the charges "vicious slander" and "preposterous falsehoods."

"The U.S. should seriously ponder over the negative consequences of circulating falsehoods and inciting antagonism against the DPRK that may affect the implementation of the Joint Statement adopted at the DPRK-U.S.," the statement read, referring to an agreement reached between President TrumpDonald John TrumpMcCabe says he was fired because he 'opened a case against' Trump McCabe: Trump said 'I don't care, I believe Putin' when confronted with US intel on North Korea McCabe: Trump talked to me about his election victory during 'bizarre' job interview MORE and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un earlier this year.

The Department of Justice last week unsealed a 179-page long complaint alleging that North Korea was behind global cyberattacks dating back several years. Park was the only person named in the document, but the allegations said he worked with co-conspirators.

Read more here.

 

HOUSE LAWMAKERS PRESS GOOGLE OVER CHINA: A bipartisan group of lawmakers is demanding answers from Google after multiple media reports detailed the internet giant's plans to develop a censored search engine that would allow it to break into the Chinese market.

Rep. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineForeign Affairs chairman: US military intervention in Venezuela 'not an option' Greedy tort bar tarts up the CREATES Act Whitaker takes grilling from House lawmakers MORE (D-R.I.) led the group of 16 House members in a letter sent to Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Thursday.

"Google should not be helping China crack down on free speech and political dissent," Cicilline wrote in a tweet.

Among the lawmakers that signed on to the letter were Reps. Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulHouse passes bill to end US support for Saudi war in Yemen Congress poised to put Trump in veto bind Congress must stand with the people of Venezuela MORE (R-Texas), Anna EshooAnna Georges EshooFemale Dems see double standard in Klobuchar accusations Dems urge regulators to reject T-Mobile, Sprint merger House Dems to mull bills to overturn Trump ObamaCare actions MORE (D-Calif.) and Dana RohrabacherDana Tyrone RohrabacherExpanding Social Security: Popular from sea to shining sea Oregon Dem top recipient of 2018 marijuana industry money, study finds Democrats need a worthy climate plan MORE (R-Calif.).

Google operated in China until 2010 when it pulled out over concerns about free expression in the Communist nation.

Last month, The Intercept reported that Google had launched a project to develop a censored search service in order to comply with Chinese speech restrictions after a meeting between Pichai and Communist Party officials.

Read more here.

 

AMAZON TO REVEAL HQ2 LOCATION BY END OF THE YEAR: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced Thursday that the location of his company's second headquarters would be revealed by the end of the year.

Amazon released a list of 20 cities as its finalists for "HQ2." They include Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C.

"The answer is very simple," Bezos said during an Economic Club of Washington, D.C., event Thursday night, according to CNBC. "We will answer the decision before the end of the year."

Among the qualifications listed are a metropolitan area with a population of over a million people, a business-friendly environment and urban or suburban locations that can attract potential employees.

The company has said it is likely to invest more than $5 billion in the new headquarters and is looking for a site large enough to accommodate up to 50,000 workers making an average of $100,000 a year.

Read more here.

 

DON JR. ISN'T ABOUT FAKE FRIENDS: Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpHouse chairman: Trump lawyers may have given false info about Cohen payments Sarah Sanders says she was interviewed by Mueller's office Trump dismisses Ann Coulter after criticism: 'I hardly know her' MORE accused Vanity Fair on Friday of purchasing some of the site's more than 4 million Twitter followers after the magazine reported that Trump Jr. was worried his father, President Trump, has trouble sleeping.

In a tweet, the president's eldest son attacked the news magazine as "sad" and "irrelevant," while urging Vanity Fair reporters to "keep making crap up" about him and his father's administration.

"What a joke, you think I worry my father isn't sleeping? I have never and will never worry about that. Keep making crap up," Trump Jr. tweeted.

Read more here.

 

A LIGHTER TWITTER CLICK: The future is tech-tied pick-up lines. Uh oh.

 

NOTABLE LINKS FROM AROUND THE WEB:

Gowdy: House Intel panel should release all transcripts from Russia probe.

New Uber lawsuit shines light on reporter-source relationships. (Axios)

Apple paying hackers bug bounty to find iPhone vulnerabilities. (Motherboard)

North Koreans exploit social media vulnerabilities to dodge sanctions. (The Wall Street Journal)

Seven employees have quit over Google's China search engine product (BuzzFeed News)

FCC estimates overestimate coverage and competition per new GAO report (The Register)