Paul Manafort Reaches Tentative Plea Deal With Robert Mueller's Team

Paul Manafort Reaches Tentative Plea Deal With Robert Mueller's Team

Paul Manafort Reaches Tentative Plea Deal With Robert Mueller's Team

A tentative deal has been reached between Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and special counsel Robert Mueller according to a new ABC News report.

A second case was opened in Virginia earlier this year on related charges that ended with a jury finding Manafort guilty on eight counts out of an 18-count indictment, facing a maximum of 80 years behind the bars, though under sentencing guidelines the term is likely to be closer to seven years.

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

The Post story also didn't have any inside information on the key question: Will Manafort agree to some sort of guilty plea simply to avoid rolling the dice at trial or does this deal involve cooperating with Mueller against Trump.

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

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Manafort has been reassessing his legal risks after last month's trial.

His trial on the second set of charges is scheduled to begin in U.S. District Court in Washington on Monday.

Spokesmen for special counsel Mueller and Manafort would not respond to requests for comment. In ruling against Manafort's request for a change of venue, Jackson said she could reconsider if they are unable to qualify enough jurors to proceed to jury selection in the case, scheduled to begin September 17.

A pretrial conference scheduled for Friday morning, rescheduled late Thursday night.

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.

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None of the charges against Manafort related to collusion with Russian Federation.

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.

Trump has repeatedly come to Manafort's defense.

Prosecutors have said Manafort and Kilimnik conspired to tamper with witnesses, an allegation that later led in June to U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Columbia Amy Berman Jackson revoking Manafort's bail and ordering him jailed.

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