Published: Fri, September 14, 2018

Paul Manafort Reaches Tentative Plea Deal with Robert Mueller

Paul Manafort Reaches Tentative Plea Deal with Robert Mueller

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortManafort seeks plea deal without special counsel cooperation: report Investigators looking at suspicious money transfers after Trump Tower meeting, election: report Poll: More Americans favor Mueller's handling of Russian Federation probe than Trump's MORE has reportedly reached a "tentative" plea deal with special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russian Federation probe MORE.

Manafort was convicted on eight counts of tax and bank fraud in federal court in Virginia in August, a development that was widely viewed as a victory for Mueller's team in his first court test of the Russian Federation probe.

ABC News spotted Manafort and his attorneys entering a secret entrance to the building where Mueller's office is located on Thursday morning, and the two parties spent more than four hours in there.

Mueller is investigating Russia's role in the 2016 USA election and whether Trump's campaign colluded with Moscow to help him win.

Tuesday, there were reports that negotiations toward a possible plea deal were underway. Another trial was to begin later this month based on charges filed against Manafort previous year in Washington, DC.

A move by Manafort to cooperate could be a blow to Trump, while an outright guilty plea with no cooperation would resolve a cloud over the president ahead of congressional elections in less than two months.


Several other news outlets later reported that Manafort was close to reaching a deal.

Rick Gates, Manafort's former business partner and the campaign's deputy chairman, pleaded guilty to lesser charges in exchange for his cooperation, later testifying against Manafort in Virginia.

In the second trial, the former Trump campaign manager is facing charges of conspiring to defraud the federal government, money laundering, and witness tampering.

Manafort's second trial is expected to delve deeper into Manafort's Russian connections including to Konstantin Kilimnik, a Ukrainian-Russian political consultant who was indicted along with Manafort and who Mueller's team has linked to Russian intelligence.

Jackson also ruled that Manafort's defense couldn't introduce evidence about Gates' extramarital affairs, a topic that came out during his testimony during Manafort's trial in last month in Virginia.

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