The judge in the trial of Paul Manafort scheduled an arraignment and plea agreement hearing Friday, signaling the former Trump campaign chairman has reached a deal with the special counsel's office.
In pleading guilty, Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman, would admit he broke the law - a concession he refused to make throughout his Alexandria trial and since he was charged almost a year ago in Washington.
He faced a second trial in Washington, DC, on seven more counts related to lobbying work he did for Ukraine and witness tampering. Manafort and Mueller had also been in plea talks while the jury was in deliberations during his Virginia trial, but those negotiations had fallen through.
The details of the plea deal ― including whether it indicates that Manafort has to cooperate with Mueller's team ― are not yet available.
Paul Manafort (centre) is heckled as he walks into court.More news: California Sets Goal Of 100 Percent Clean Electric Power By 2045
This, in turn, may endear him to President Trump, who has already called Manafort a "good man" who has been unfairly targeted by the Justice Department.
Manafort was convicted last month on eight counts of fraud, bank fraud and failing to disclose banks accounts. The jury in Virginia found that Manafort hid millions of dollars he made in Ukraine to avoid paying taxes, and then lied to get loans when the political party that was paying him was ousted from power and the funding dried up.
Manafort had denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty. 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. The discovery of his witness contacts led to a superseding indictment in June and Manafort's jailing ahead of his trial.
Paul Manafort has agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy against the United States and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, court documents say.
As a potential witness to alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation during the 2016 campaign, Manafort became an early and sustained focus of the Mueller probe.