Trump ex-campaign aide Manafort to plead guilty in Mueller probe

Paul Manafort to plead guilty as part of plea deal with special counsel

Prosecutors filed new charging documents against Manafort which contained a criminal information, a document that can only be filed with a defendant's consent and typically signals a deal has been reached.

Manafort was convicted last month on eight counts of fraud, bank fraud and failing to disclose banks accounts.

It's unclear how the possible deal might affect Manafort's pursuit of a pardon from President Donald Trump. There were 18 counts altogether, but Ellis declared a mistrial on those charges when jurors couldn't reach an agreement on them-and that hung jury came about because of a lone juror.

As part of the deal, Manafort, 69, could be required to cooperate with Mueller's probe into Russia's role in the 2016 presidential election and whether Trump's campaign colluded with Russian Federation in the 2016 US presidential election.

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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.

The plea deal is expected to be announced Friday morning, when Manafort is due in court.

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

The punishment that Manafort may receive related to his D.C. case, and any cooperation he may have offered the government, weren't immediately clear. 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.

The move toward a guilty plea is another reversal for Manafort, who has fought vociferously - but unsuccessfully - against Mueller's probe. And it was Jackson (a Barack Obama appointee) who, earlier this year, removed Manafort's home detention status and ordered him jailed for tampering with witnesses.

Trump last month praised his former aide for not entering into an agreement with prosecutors, as the president's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen had.

During Manafort's first trial, Judge Ellis often butted heads with federal prosecutors.

At the time of Gates' plea, Manafort issued a statement saying he "had hoped and expected my business colleague would have had the strength to continue the battle to prove our innocence".

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