Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is reportedly in talks with special counsel Robert Mueller about a plea deal — but is resisting cooperation with prosecutors investigating President Donald Trump.
The Washington Post on Tuesday first reported Manfort, convicted in Virginia last month of bank and tax fraud, has been in talks with Mueller’s prosecutors about a deal in which he’d plead guilty to avoid a second trial in Washington on different charges.
On Wednesday, however, ABC News reported Mueller wants Manafort to cooperate by providing information related to the president and his 2016 campaign.
Manafort is resisting, ABC News reported — and his legal team is pushing prosecutors for a plea agreement that doesn’t include cooperation related to the president.
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported any deal is unlikely to include an “explicit obligation” that Manafort help Mueller with his probe.
Manafort's upcoming trial in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. will weigh charges of violating lobbying laws, money laundering and witness tampering. A hearing in that case is set for Friday, with jury selection scheduled to begin next Monday.
Manafort, 69, has pleaded not guilty. He’s been held in jail without bail since June, when Mueller charged him with trying to tamper with potential witnesses.
Mueller's team is continuing to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, as well as possible collusion by members of Trump's campaign in that effort.
The special counsel also is investigating whether Trump himself has obstructed justice by trying to affect the course of the Justice Department's inquiry into Russia's role in the election.
Trump has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing by himself or his campaign.
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