Donald Trump aide Paul Manafort close to plea deal with Robert Mueller

TPM Illustration  Getty Images

Special counsel Robert Mueller and former Trump campaign Paul Manafort have reached what ABC News is describing as a "tentative" plea deal to avert his upcoming trial in D.C., the network reported Thursday based on sources familiar with the negotiations.

Manafort, a longtime Republican political consultant who also worked for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine, was convicted last month at trial in Alexandria, Virginia, on eight counts of bank and tax fraud and failing to disclose foreign bank accounts.

Rudy Giuliani, Trump's lead defense attorney, told Politico on Thursday that the president's legal team is not concerned about the possibility of a plea deal in Manafort's case, because they are convinced he won't say anything damaging about Trump.

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.

Mother and baby among dead as Hurricane Florence lashes U.S. coast
Cooper said 108 shelters are open across the state, with more than 7,000 people already staying at them, as of Thursday afternoon. High winds and storm surge from Hurricane Florence hits Swansboro N.C., September 14, 2018 . "We are stuck in the attic".


Manafort has been held in jail for the last several months after prosecutors accused him of witness tampering. Manafort faces up to a decade in federal prison for the two conspiracy charges.

Those charges are the subject of the current plea deal.

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

Another reason for Manafort to enter a plea - and the ABC News report reiterated this - is that Manafort would be spared exorbitant legal costs on a second trial that already appears likely to result in a guilty verdict, at least in part.

Russian bombers were intercepted near Alaska
Under its rules, the USA requests any foreign aircraft to identify itself and its flight plan when entering the air defense zone. Russian bombers in the past have conducted mock missile attacks against USA missile defenses in Alaska.


Manafort's cooperation could be significant.

ABC News reported Wednesday that Manafort was seeking to avoid a deal that would involve him cooperating with government prosecutors in the Russian Federation investigation.

Manafort's wife, Kathleen, declined comment as she awaited the hearing.

Rick Gates, Manafort's former business partner and the campaign's deputy chairman, pleaded guilty to lesser charges in exchange for his cooperation, later testifying against Manafort in Virginia. In private discussions with his lawyers, Trump has raised the option of pardoning Manafort.

Hurricane Florence lashes USA east coast, triggers flood warnings
By that time, emergency crews had already been deployed to parts of the state where people were trapped by floodwaters. The United States Geological Survey recorded flood water 10.01 feet deep in the town of New Bern in North Carolina .


In the Virginia trial, prosecutors said Manafort hid from U.S. tax authorities $16 million he earned as a political consultant in Ukraine to fund an opulent lifestyle that included purchasing multimillion-dollar properties, an ostrich skin jacket and other valuables.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Terry could return to Chelsea as coach
Sep 15, 2018 - 08:02
" First of all he's a great person, great as a human ", Luiz said in an interview with Chelsea's official magazine. Terry made 36 appearances last season in the Villa team that were beaten by Fulham in Championship play-off final.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Hurricane Florence Approaches US East Coast
Sep 15, 2018 - 07:31
Although it was once a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 140mph, the hurricane was downgraded to a Category 1 on Thursday night. Eudy and his family stayed home in New Bern in part to protect their house. "We just need to figure out how to make it through".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Hurricane Florence Reduces Its Intensity But Not Its Destructive Power
Sep 15, 2018 - 07:17
Governor Cooper said there have been " several hundred" rescue operations and "there are still some people they need to get to". Roy Cooper. "The storm is wreaking havoc on our state". " Hurricane Florence is powerful, slow and relentless", he said.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top President Weah Makes Surprise Return To Football Against Super Eagles Of Nigeria
Sep 15, 2018 - 07:15
Fans were shocked to see the former World player of the year lead his team onto the pitch, 16 years after his last appearance. The match is in celebration of Liberian President, former World Footballer of the Year George Oppong Weah.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Britain to publish more 'no deal' Brexit advice papers
Sep 15, 2018 - 06:17
If it comes from the programme's own Sentinel satellites it will remain freely available as it is covered by an open data policy. Each of the documents cost £5.50.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Watches Issued As Isaac Closes in on Lesser Antilles
Sep 15, 2018 - 05:59
Expect winds to increase on Saturday to 15-30mph across the entire CSRA, with the 30mph more likely in the northern/eastern areas. In the latest information from the National Hurricane Center , Hurricane Florence has been downgraded to a Category 2 event.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Serena Williams melts down, cartoonist branded racist
Sep 15, 2018 - 05:28
He called it "an unhappy situation" and said he followed the rules of tennis. She described Williams' behavior on court as "out of line".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Hurricane Florence: North Carolina family's garage submerged in water
Sep 15, 2018 - 05:09
But there are still untold numbers of people who are still in their homes - and they may need help soon. WXII-TV reported that 150 people were waiting to be rescued from rising waters in the city New Bern.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Rain and wind from Hurricane Florence begin lashing U.S. coast
Sep 15, 2018 - 02:14
After its initial impact, Byard said the most serious concern will be massive rainfalls that would produce unsafe inland flooding. Once a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 140 miles per hour , the hurricane was downgraded to a Category 1 on Thursday night.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Sprint and T-Mobile will have to wait longer to merge
Sep 15, 2018 - 01:52
Similarly, a business model titled "Build 9" that was also submitted September 5 needs further review, the FCC said. T-Mobile got its paperwork in late, so it may know already that it will take longer for the FCC to make a decision.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Trump signs order on sanctions for US election meddling
Sep 15, 2018 - 01:22
Lawmakers said the executive order, which would give the president decision-making power on imposing sanctions, was insufficient. The order would direct intelligence agencies to assess whether any people or entities interfered.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Boston gas explosions: Panicked neighbourhoods evacuate
Sep 15, 2018 - 01:02
Authorities identified the 18-year-old killed when a series of gas explosions rocked a string of Boston suburbs on Thursday. The incident forced National Grid to cut power to all three communities, leaving an estimated 18,000 people in the dark.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top U.S. makes trade talks move as pressure mounts ahead of midterms
Sep 15, 2018 - 00:10
Trump said there was more pressure on China to make a deal, pointing to their shrinking economy. The trade war has already contributed to sell-offs in China's stock markets and currency.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Alabama pastor cuts up Nike gear during sermon, as congregation cheers, laughs
Sep 14, 2018 - 23:50
"I've told my students, I know some will disagree with me, and, hey, that's what free speech is all about", he said . College of the Ozarks plans to remove all athletic uniforms purchased from Nike or that contain the Nike emblem.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Artist says Serena Williams Cartoon was about "poor behaviour... not race"
Sep 14, 2018 - 23:29
In the cartoon you can see his depiction of Serena stomping on a tennis racket while a pacifier lies on the ground next to her. Williams got a warning for violating a rarely enforced rule against receiving coaching from the sidelines.