WASHINGTON – U.S. President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is close to reaching a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller but an agreement has not been concluded, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
“It’s close but not there yet,” the source said.
Earlier, ABC News, citing three unnamed sources with knowledge of the discussions, said Manafort had tentatively agreed to a plea deal and it was expected to be announced at a court hearing on Friday in Washington.
ABC News said it remained unclear whether Manafort had also agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.
Jury selection is scheduled to begin on Monday in Manafort’s second trial in federal court in Washington on charges including conspiring to launder money, conspiring to defraud the United States, failing to register as a foreign agent and witness tampering.
Manafort was convicted last month at trial in Alexandria, Virginia, on eight counts of bank and tax fraud and failing to disclose foreign bank accounts. The prosecutions arose from Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 U.S. election and whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Moscow to help him win. Trump has denied colluding with the Russians and the Russians have denied interfering.
The jury at the August trial was unable to reach a verdict on 10 other counts, after one lone juror said she had reasonable doubt on whether Manafort was guilty, according to another juror.
None of the charges against Manafort related to alleged collusion with Russia.
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