Paul Manafort, Robert Mueller reach tentative plea deal

Evarado Alatorre
Setiembre 14, 2018

The report of a tentative deal comes days before jury selection is expected to begin for Manafort's trial in D.C., which is set to kick off with opening statements on September 24.

"There's no fear that Paul Manafort would cooperate against the president because there's nothing to cooperate about and we long ago evaluated him as an honorable man", he added. Opening statements for trial number two are still scheduled (until we learn officially that there won't be a trial) for September 24.

Paul Manafort, a one-time campaign manager of President Donald Trump, appears to be on the verge of a plea deal with federal prosecutors that would avoid a second trial slated to begin later this month, ABC News reports.

A spokesperson for Manafort and a representative for the special counsel's office both declined to comment.

In the D.C. case, Manafort is facing charges of money laundering, witness tampering, and failure to disclose foreign lobbying.

Manafort was convicted on 8 of 18 charges in a separate trial in Virginia that ended last month.

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The tentative deal was first reported on Thursday evening by ABC News.

In the Virginia trial, prosecutors said Manafort hid from USA tax authorities $16 million he earned as a political consultant in Ukraine to fund an opulent lifestyle that included purchasing multimillion-dollar properties, an ostrich skin jacket and other valuables. Trump has not said whether he would pardon Manafort but he has not publicly ruled it out.

Manafort was at a controversial meeting at Trump Tower in 2016 where Russians were offering "dirt" on election opponent Hillary Clinton. Jackson is allowing prosecutors to mention that Manafort was campaign chairman in August 2016 when press reports, including articles by The Associated Press, called attention to his lobbying work on behalf of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and the pro-Russian Party of Regions. Manafort could plead guilty at the hearing, one of the sources said.

The discussions between Team Manafort and Team Mueller reportedly went on for more than four hours on Thursday.

None of the charges against Manafort related to collusion with Russian Federation. And she said it could insert "the politics into the trial that we're trying to exclude".

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