Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Ex-Trump aide Manafort tentatively agrees to plea deal

Ex-Trump aide Manafort tentatively agrees to plea deal

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 in Virginia on eight counts of bank and tax fraud and failing to disclose foreign bank accounts in the first trial that ended last month.

CNN, however, described the two sides as coming "close" to a deal on Thursday.

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.

The feds were expected to announce the agreement in court Friday, but it remained uncertain whether the global man of intrigue had agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in the Russian Federation probe.

Manafort has been held in jail for the last several months after prosecutors accused him of witness tampering. Mueller's spokesman Peter Carr declined to comment on the possible deal, which was first reported by ABC News. 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.

He was previously reported to be resisting Mueller's demands for information relating to Trump in return for a deal.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin in Washington, D.C., on Monday in Manafort's second trial in federal court on charges including conspiring to launder money and defraud the United States, and failing to register as a foreign agent for the tens of millions of dollars he earned lobbying for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine. The trial is scheduled to get underway in Washington on September 24. Trump has not said whether or not he would pardon Manafort, but he has not publicly ruled it out. But Judge Amy Berman Jackson of U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia had already signaled that argument was out-of-bounds.

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