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Prosecutors file new charging documents against Paul Manafort

Prosecutors file new charging documents against Paul Manafort

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

It was not immediately clear if the deal includes a cooperation component or if Manafort is simply agreeing to plead guilty in order to avoid his trial in Washington, D.C.

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.

The prosecutions of Manafort arose from Mueller's investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 USA election and whether Trump's campaign colluded with Moscow to help him win. Jackson is allowing prosecutors to mention that Manafort was campaign chairman in August 2016 when press reports, including articles by The Associated Press, called attention to his lobbying work on behalf of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and the pro-Russian Party of Regions.

Manafort faces a second trial on charges he acted as an unregistered foreign agent for Ukraine, conspired to launder money and tampered with witnesses.

None of the charges against Manafort related to collusion with Russian Federation. A representative from the special counsel's office also declined to comment.




The charges do not relate to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, and jurors are expected to only hear limited references to Manafort's role in the campaign.

A pretrial conference scheduled for Friday morning, rescheduled late Thursday night.

Joshua Dressler, a law professor at Ohio State University, said it made sense that Manafort, 69, was considering cutting his losses and avoiding the time and money needed to defend himself against a second trial.

Trump has repeatedly come to Manafort's defense.

Four former Trump aides have pleaded guilty to charges related to the special counsel investigation: Michael Cohen, the president's longtime personal lawyer; Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser; Rick Gates, the former deputy campaign chairman; and George Papadopoulos, a former campaign adviser.

"Once again an investigation has concluded with a plea having nothing to do with President Trump or the Trump campaign", Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said Friday. 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.


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