Manafort reaches 'tentative' plea deal with Mueller

On Tuesday January 31 Rudy Giuliani former mayor of New York City was present for U.S. President Donald Trump's live announcement of Colo. appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch as his Supreme Court of the United States nominee in the East Room of the

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

A second case was opened in Virginia earlier this year on related charges that ended with a jury finding Manafort guilty on eight counts out of an 18-count indictment, facing a maximum of 80 years behind the bars, though under sentencing guidelines the term is likely to be closer to seven years.

ABC News spotted Manafort and his attorneys entering a secret entrance to the building where Mueller's office is located on Thursday morning, and the two parties spent more than four hours in there.

According to ABC News, prosecutors will announce a deal between the parties in court on Friday.

Manafort was at a controversial meeting at Trump Tower in 2016 where Russians were offering "dirt" on election opponent Hillary Clinton.

"It's close but not there yet", one of the sources said of negotiations in the second case against Manafort arising from Mueller's investigation of USA intelligence agencies' conclusions that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 US election, which Moscow denies. The trial is scheduled to get underway in Washington on September 24.

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Spokesmen for special counsel Mueller and Manafort would not respond to requests for comment.

Neither trial actually concerned his work with President Trump's campaign and all the purported conduct happened before he took that post. Just as the news of the tentative deal was breaking, a previously scheduled pretrial hearing in the D.C. case was pushed back from 9:30 a.m. ET to 11 a.m. ET.

Jackson said she would allow Downing to file additional information about his argument before issuing a ruling, but was inclined to bar such references because they weren't relevant to the charges against Manafort.

Prosecutors have approached the second trial much like the first: with a wealth of documentary evidence and a range of witnesses who worked with Manafort. Trump has not said whether he would pardon Manafort but he has not publicly ruled it out.

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.

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