Paul Manafort, President Trump's former campaign chairman, is discussing with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office a potential plea deal, two people with knowledge of the matter told The Washington Post on Tuesday.
Manafort was convicted last month in Virginia on eight counts of bank and tax fraud, in connection with work he did for Ukrainian politicians. He is facing a second trial in Washington, with jury selection expected to start on Monday and opening statements set for Sept. 24. This time around, Manafort is accused of money laundering and lobbying violations, also stemming from his Ukrainian employment.
These negotiations aren't necessarily going to lead to Mueller striking a deal with Manafort, the Post reports, and it's unclear what specific terms they are discussing. In August, The Wall Street Journal reported that Manafort's legal team was discussing a deal with prosecutors while the Virginia jury was deliberating, but Mueller reportedly had an issue with the talks and no agreement was made.
Manafort's former business partner, Rick Gates, made a deal with prosecutors, and in exchange for testifying against Manafort during his first trial, he received leniency. Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani told the Post earlier that Trump has asked his lawyers about the possibility of pardoning Manafort, but they urged him to hold off on pardoning anyone involved in the Russia investigation until the probe is over. Catherine Garcia