By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — Paul Manafort, U.S. President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, has tentatively agreed to a plea deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller that would end the need for a second trial, U.S. media are reporting.
ABC News reported on September 13 that the deal, if finalized, would be announced in Washington, D.C., on September 14.
The report said it was not yet clear whether Manafort had agreed to cooperate with prosecutors or only agreed to plead guilty to some or all of the charges against him.
Reuters cited a source as saying a plea deal was “close but not there yet.”
Juy selection in Manafort’s trial in the District of Columbia is scheduled to begin on September 17 but opening statements are due to start a week later.
Manafort, a longtime lobbyist, faces charges of failing to register as a foreign agent for his work on behalf of pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine, among other criminal charges.
The second trial, if eventually held, would come about a month after a jury in Virginia convicted Manafort on eight felony counts of filing false tax returns, failing to report offshore bank accounts, and bank fraud. The jury deadlocked on 10 other counts.
Mueller’s investigation has resulted in charges against at least 32 people, including Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn. The investigation also led to guilty plea by Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, in a case brought by the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan.
George Papadopoulos, a low-level adviser to Trump’s 2016 election campaign, was on September 7 sentenced to 14 days in prison for lying to federal agents.
He was the first person to plead guilty to charges brought by Mueller, whose prosecutors sought a six-month sentence for him.
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