ABC News reported Thursday that Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign manager, has made a tentative plea deal with prosecutors over charges filed by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Manafort was found guilty of eight criminal counts in a Virginia court last month, but was facing a second trial in Washington, D.C., for other charges filed in the investigation into Russian election interference and alleged collusion with the Trump campaign.
The 69-year-old Manafort had been found guilty of five tax evasion charges, two smaller bank fraud charges, and one charge of failure-to-report. The jury said they were hung on 10 other charges.
In the second trial, Manafort is facing charges of conspiring to defraud the federal government, money laundering, and witness tampering.
ABC News said it was unclear whether Manafort had made a deal that would involve his cooperation with the special counsel’s investigation, or if he simply agreed to a plea deal without cooperation.
Reuters is reporting separately that the deal is close, but has not been completed yet.
Trump is not worried
Rudy Guiliani, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, reiterated that they were not worried about Manafort testifying against him at all, based on what they knew of his high character.
“From our perspective, we want him to do the right thing for himself,” Giuliani said.
“There’s no fear that Paul Manafort would cooperate against the president because there’s nothing to cooperate about and we long ago evaluated him as an honorable man,” he added.
The president’s comments on Twitter made many believe that he was thinking about pardoning Manafort.
“I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family,” he tweeted.
I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family. “Justice” took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to “break” – make up stories in order to get a “deal.” Such respect for a brave man!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 22, 2018
“Such respect for a brave man!” he added, contrasting him to his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, who accused the president of ordering him to commit campaign finance violations.