Tentative deal reached between Manafort and special counsel

Lester Mason
Сентября 14, 2018

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort has reportedly reached a tentative plea deal with prosecutors and won't go to trial on foreign-agent-law charges.

Three sources with knowledge of the discussions told ABC News that the deal is expected to be announced Friday, but it's unclear whether Manafort has agreed to cooperate with Mueller's team or will merely concede to a guilty plea.

Regarding the Washington case, Manafort is accused of acting as an unregistered foreign agent, conspiring to launder money, and lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department about the nature of his work.

Trump's attorney, Rudolph Giuliani, was quoted earlier on Thursday saying that the president's team remained in "open communication" with Manafort's as part of an agreement to share information, renewing speculation that Trump may pardon the former aide for his crimes.

Manafort was at a controversial meeting at Trump Tower in 2016 where Russians were offering "dirt" on election opponent Hillary Clinton.

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Neither trial actually concerned his work with President Trump's campaign and all the purported conduct happened before he took that post.

"It's close but not there yet", one of the sources said of negotiations in the second case against Manafort arising from Mueller's investigation of USA intelligence agencies' conclusions that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 US election, which Moscow denies. Prosecutors said he evaded taxes on $16 million laundered through shell companies overseas. Trump's critics have pointed to the meeting as evidence of the collusion with Russian Federation that Trump denies. He resigned in August 2016 following a news report linking him to payments from Yanukovych's pro-Russia political party.

Gates could be called as a prosecution witness in his Washington trial as well, as could veteran political operative Samuel Patten, who pleaded guilty to unregistered lobbying for Ukrainian politicians two weeks ago.

Prosecutors have approached the second trial much like the first: with a wealth of documentary evidence and a range of witnesses who worked with Manafort. The jury said they were hung on 10 other charges. 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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