News ID: 231352
Published: 0245 GMT September 14, 2018

Ex-Trump aide Manafort “close to plea deal with Mueller”

Ex-Trump aide Manafort “close to plea deal with Mueller”

US President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is nearing a plea deal with US prosecutors to avoid a second criminal trial, sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

It remains unclear if the deal will include Manafort cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign, Reuters reported.

A move by Manafort to cooperate could be a blow to Trump, while an outright guilty plea with no cooperation would resolve a cloud over the president ahead of congressional elections in less than two months.

“It’s close but not there yet,” one of the sources said about negotiations over a deal.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin in Washington, DC, 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.

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. Prosecutors said he evaded taxes on $16 million laundered through shell companies overseas.

 

   
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