Manafort Agrees to Plead Guilty to Avoid New Washington Trial

Bill Hennessy  Reuters

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is expected to plead guilty to federal charges as part of a deal with the special counsel's office.

It's unclear what the details of the plea agreement are, and whether it includes a pledge from Manafort to cooperate with Mueller's investigators in their probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

His DC trial was set to begin September 24. A mistrial was declared on the remaining 10 charges after jurors could not reach a unanimous verdict. Trump has not said whether he would pardon Manafort, but the president has not publicly ruled it out.

Manafort had the option of rolling all the charges he faced into one trial, but chose not to.

Manafort was accused of concealing from the IRS tens of millions of dollars in proceeds from his Ukrainian patrons and conspiring to launder that money through offshore accounts in Cyprus and elsewhere.

The charges in his second trial were set to include money laundering, conspiring to defraud the U.S., witness tampering and failing to register as a foreign agent.

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The charges do not involve Manafort's work for United States president Donald Trump. Add Russia Investigation as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Russia Investigation news, video, and analysis from ABC News.

He has yet to be sentenced in Virginia, where legal experts say he faces 8 to 10 years in prison under federal guidelines on the eight of 18 counts on which he was convicted. So far, Manafort has refused to turn on his former boss - unlike other Trump administration figures - and there has been speculation that he is waiting on a pardon from the president at some later date.

"It's not going to hurt him if he pleads guilty".

The decision by Trump's onetime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to plead guilty last month in a federal investigation in Manhattan particularly angered the president, who denounced him as a "flipper".

On Twitter on August 22, Trump wrote: "Unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to "break" - make up stories in order to get a 'deal". Yanukovych was ousted from the country in 2014, and Manafort's consulting work in Ukraine dried up, according to evidence presented by the prosecutors in the Virginia trial. "Such respect for a fearless man!"

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