President Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, has tentatively agreed to a plea deal with government prosecutors, according to a report published on Thursday by ABC News.
The report stated that Manafort’s deal with the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is in charge of the investigation into Russia’s intervention in the 2016 election, will officially be announced on Friday morning.
Manafort has already been convicted of eight counts of tax fraud and other financial crimes by a jury in the state of Virginia. He is about to face a second trial, on a new set of financial crime allegations, before a court in Washington, D.C., and a plea deal would allow him to avoid that situation. It could also influence the amount of time he would sit in jail for the charges on which he has already been found guilty.
Manafort ran Trump’s presidential campaign during the first half of 2016. He played a key role in securing Trump’s nomination by the Republican Party at the party’s national convention. He also participated in the famous June 2016 “Trump Tower Meeting” which included senior staffers of the Trump campaign and a Russian lawyer with close ties to the Kremlin. The meeting is being investigated by Mueller’s team.
Manafort worked for years as a lobbyist and a political consultant in Eastern Europe. He made millions from business partnerships there, including with Ukrainian politicians considered close to Russian President Vladimir Putin. It is not clear yet if under the terms of the reported plea deal, Manafort will provide Mueller’s investigators with new information relevant to their ongoing probe.