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Former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortManafort reaches "tentative" plea deal with Mueller: report Giuliani says possible Manafort plea deal not a concern Manafort seeks plea deal without special counsel cooperation: report MORE is pleading guilty to two federal charges stemming from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russian Federation probe MORE's investigation and has reached a "cooperation agreement" as part of the plea deal. Manafort reached a deal with federal prosecutors to avoid his upcoming trial on charges related to his foreign lobbying work, CBS News reported Thursday.

He said that, should the deal include Manafort's cooperation with Mr Mueller's Trump-Russia investigation, it could be bad news for the United States president.

Manafort would plead guilty to one count of conspiracy against the United States and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, according to documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Friday. The high-profile lobbyist is expected to appear in court later Friday morning at 11 a.m. EST.

Jurors in Virginia last month found Manafort guilty, in a separate case, on two counts of bank fraud, five counts of tax fraud and one charge of failing to disclose foreign bank accounts, giving special counsel Robert Mueller a victory in the first trial arising from his investigation of Russia's role in the 2016 US election.

What is unclear is whether he will cooperate with prosecutors as they investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election, and potential collusion by members of Trump's campaign. Manafort would be the fifth Trump aide to plead guilty in connection to the special counsel's probe. The superseding information says that Manafort, with assistance from associate Konstantin Kilimnik, tried to influence two individuals "to induce them to say falsely that they did not work in the United States as part of the lobbying campaign, even though MANAFORT then and there well knew that they did lobby within the United States".

The allegations do not involve his work with the Trump campaign.

In August, in a separate trial in Virginia, a federal jury found Manafort guilty on eight counts of federal tax and banking crimes.

The move toward a guilty plea is another reversal for Manafort, who has fought vociferously - but unsuccessfully - against Mueller's probe.

Just under a year ago, the 69-year-old veteran GOP operative was charged in Washington, D.C., with several counts of fraud and failing to register as a foreign agent by the special counsel. A mistrial was declared on the remaining 10 charges after jurors could not reach a unanimous verdict.

President Donald Trump with Paul Manafort (far right) and Rick Gates (centre).


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