Paul Manafort reaches ‘tentative’ plea deal with Robert Mueller

14 Septembre, 2018, 17:05 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Shawn Thew  EPA  REX via Shutterstock

Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort has reached a tentative plea deal with Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, ABC News reports.

It is unclear whether it would involve Manafort's cooperation with the FBI investigation into Russian influence on the 2016 presidential election led by special counsel Robert Mueller, or if Manafort would plead guilty to stated or lesser charges.

Tuesday, there were reports that negotiations toward a possible plea deal were underway. Prosecutors said he evaded taxes on $16 million laundered through shell companies overseas. ABC News reported Wednesday that Manafort's attorneys wanted a plea deal that did not require him to cooperate with the Mueller probe. Why spend what money he has on another trial at this point?

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 payments from Yanukovych's pro-Russia political party.

News of the agreement comes the same month as Manafort's second trial is set to begin.

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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.

Mueller is investigating Russia's role in the 2016 US election and whether Trump's campaign colluded with Moscow to help him win. Trump's critics have pointed to the meeting as evidence of the collusion with Russian Federation that Trump denies.

"I don't think he has any information that would hurt the president", Giuliani told Reuters. "Unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to "break" - makeup stories in order to get a 'deal. Such respect for a courageous man!" 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. A pretrial hearing, postponed this week, is scheduled for Friday.

Manafort's second trial is expected to delve deeper into Manafort's Russian connections including to Konstantin Kilimnik, a Ukrainian-Russian political consultant who was indicted along with Manafort and who Mueller's team has linked to Russian intelligence. The witness tampering allegations were brought earlier this year, and Manafort has been in jail, awaiting trial, since June because of them.

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