Former Trump aide Paul Manafort reportedly reaches tentative deal with Mueller


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Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort arrives for a hearing at the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse on May 23, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort has reached a tentative deal with special counsel Robert Mueller ahead of his second trial, ABC News reported Thursday, citing sources familiar with the negotiations.

But CNN and Reuters said a deal was nearing but not yet reached. Jury selection in U.S. District Court in Washington was scheduled to begin on Monday.

A deal between Manafort and Mueller would bring to an end the long running charges involving one of President Donald Trump’s top advisors during the 2016 campaign. It was not clear Friday morning whether any deal would involve cooperation in any potential case against the president.

Neither CNBC nor NBC News has independently confirmed the reports of a deal. A representative for the special counsel declined to comment.

There have been some suggestions that the two parties were nearing a deal. A hearing was set for 11 a.m. ET Friday. Earlier in the week, it was reported that Manafort was in talks with Mueller ahead of the trial but was resistant to the idea of providing information about Trump.

On Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal reported that any potential deal was unlikely to include an explicit requirement that Manafort help Mueller in his investigation of the Trump campaign’s possible links to Russia.

More information was expected to be provided at Friday morning’s hearing.

Manafort’s second trial largely relates to work he did for pro-Russia politicians in Ukraine before he worked for Trump’s campaign. He has been accused of working as a lobbyist for a foreign government without appropriately registering. Manafort has also been accused of a variety of money laundering charges.

Manafort, 69, has pleaded not guilty. The former D.C. lobbyist has been held in jail without bail since June, when Mueller charged him with trying to tamper with potential witnesses. Last month, he was found guilty of eight criminal counts by a federal jury in Virginia, including five counts of tax fraud. A mistrial was declared on 10 other counts after one juror reportedly held out against conviction.

Representatives for Manafort did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

— CNBC’s
Dan Mangan
contributed to this report.

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