Paul Manafort Reaches Tentative Plea Deal with Robert Mueller

TPM Illustration  Getty Images

TPM Illustration Getty Images

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

Manafort was convicted last month at trial in Alexandria, Virginia, of charges including bank and tax fraud. Trump has denied colluding with the Russians and the Russians have denied interfering. Another trial was to begin later this month based on charges filed against Manafort previous year in Washington, DC.

It was not clear if Manafort would be required to cooperate with Mueller's office.

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

The defense has planned to show that the special counsel had targeted Manafort because he had headed Trump's presidential campaign.

The report comes after U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled Manafort's second trial will remain in the District of Columbia.

In other words, there is a difference, as Law&Crime explained on Wednesday, between entering a guilty plea on all charges to avoid trial and cutting a deal to do the same.

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Following Manafort's conviction in Virginia, Trump said he felt "very badly" for Manafort and praised him for refusing to become a cooperating witness for the government like the president's former legal fixer, Michael Cohen, who separately pleaded guilty in NY to tax fraud, bank fraud and a campaign finance violation. His onetime business partner and protege, Rick Gates, took such a deal and appeared as the government's star witness against Manafort in his Virginia trial last month.

The longtime political strategist is scheduled to stand trial in Washington on charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering, acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign principal, making false statements and obstruction of justice.

Trump discussed a possible pardon for Manafort with his lawyers earlier this summer, attorney Rudy Giuliani has told NPR.

In the Virginia trial, prosecutors said Manafort hid from United States 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.

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