Paul Manafort reaches ‘tentative’ plea deal with Robert Mueller

Ex-Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort reportedly cuts tentative plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller

"It's close but not there yet", one of the sources said about negotiations over a deal.

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 is scheduled to appear in federal court in Washington D.C. on Friday morning in a hearing that had been moved from earlier in the week.

"I plead guilty", Manafort said.

File image of Robert Mueller. A spokesperson for Manafort declined to comment.

ABC News reported that the plea deal is expected to be announced in court on Friday, and that it's unclear whether it involves a cooperation agreement. Jury selection for his second trial is now set to begin on Monday, and opening arguments are scheduled for September 24. The jury there was deadlocked on 10 others.

"With eight convictions already in place, and more possible convictions awaiting him, it seems that he has been bloodied up enough to see the light", Dressler said.

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He joined the president's campaign in March 2016 and became campaign chairman in May, and left the campaign in August days after the New York Times and the Associated Press ran reports that he had been tied to alleged undisclosed foreign lobbying practices in Ukraine.

Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who is representing Trump in the Russian Federation probe, previously told the Politico news outlet that taking a plea deal to avoid a second trial would not crush Manafort's chances of receiving an eventual presidential pardon. Trump has not said whether or not he would pardon Manafort, but he has not publicly ruled it out.

If Manafort simply pleads guilty and makes clear that he hasn't given evidence to the government, that could increase his favor with President Trump, who already has faulted what he calls Manafort's "unfair" treatment by the Justice Department. Trump has denied colluding with the Russians.

Those charges are the subject of the current plea deal. If Manafort is getting a deal, that means Mueller is getting something in return.

As recently as last month, Trump praised his former campaign manager, who he said said was a "brave man" who "refused to break". Gates may be a prosecution witness in his Washington trial as well. Mueller's team has been investigating whether his connections in the region are linked to Russia's attack on the 2016 USA election.

Manafort has been reassessing his legal risks after last month's trial.

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