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Paul Manafort Reaches Tentative Plea Deal With Robert Mueller's Team
14 September 2018, 05:01 | Glen Norman
REPORT: Manafort Wants "No Cooperation" Plea Deal
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.
Paul Manafort arrived for a hearing at U.S. District Court on June 15 in Washington, D.C.
The report said that it was not clear yet whether the deal includes Manafort's cooperation, which ABC News previously reported was a desire of the special counsel in the negotiations. Manafort's legal team has been meeting with prosecutors from the special counsel's office to negotiate a plea deal.
Several other news outlets later reported that Manafort was close to reaching a deal. If Manafort is getting a deal, that means Mueller is getting something in return.
Mueller is investigating Russia's role in the 2016 US election and whether Trump's campaign colluded with Moscow to help him win. Trump has denied colluding with the Russians.
Manafort is already facing 8 to 10 years in prison from the eight guilty counts in Virginia, terms that may not change significantly no matter the outcome of the second trial.
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. The trial is scheduled to get underway in Washington on September 24.
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.
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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. 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.
Later, when former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted from power and fled to Russian Federation, much of the consulting business dried up. Desperate for cash, prosecutors said he lied to banks in order to secure $20 million in loans.
Manafort worked for five months on Trump's 2016 campaign, including three as chairman. He resigned in August 2016 following a news report linking him to covert payments from a pro-Kremlin political party in Ukraine.
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