Former Trump manager Manafort to plead guilty in Mueller probe: court documents

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Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, will plead guilty on Friday in his second criminal trial, according to NBC News.

People familiar with the plea discussions have previously said that Manafort has no intention of cooperating with Mueller, so it's possible any prospective agreement could allow him to admit guilt without providing information to investigators.

A Virginia jury convicted Manafort last month on bank and tax fraud charges.

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. The president has tried to distance himself from his former campaign chair.

The superseding criminal information filed by Mueller's office says Manafort acted as an unregistered foreign agent and engaged in money laundering, tax fraud, lying to the Justice Department and witness tampering.

Prosecutors had filed new charging documents against Manafort.

That posture drew plaudits from Trump, who praised his former campaign chairman for his unwillingness to cooperate with the special counsel.

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

The jury in the Virginia trial had found Manafort guilty on eight of the counts brought by Mueller, while dead-locking on 10 others. The remaining five charges against Manafort will be dropped.

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

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

Prosecutors say that Manafort directed a large scale lobbying operation in the United States for Ukrainian interests without registering with the Justice Department as required by the federal Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA.

Manafort has been in jail since June, when the judge in the D.C. case, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, threw him in pretrial detention for alleged witness tampering.