Manafort considering plea deal to avoid second trial: report

Manafort considering plea deal to avoid second trial: report

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortCohen questioned for hours in Mueller probe about Trump's dealings with Russia: report Vote Democrat in midterms to rein in Trump, preserve justice Hillicon Valley: Trump's exclusive interview with Hill.TV | Trump, intel officials clash over Russia docs | EU investigating Amazon | Military gets new cyber authority | Flynn sentencing sparks new questions about Mueller probe MORE is reportedly considering an agreement with prosecutors that would involve him pleading guilty on some charges in exchange for avoiding a second trial set to begin this month in Washington, D.C.

A source close to Manafort's negotiations told Bloomberg News that the former Trump associate's lawyers have discussed the number of charges Manafort may admit to and the length of a sentence to be recommended by prosecutors.

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He faces seven separate charges in Washington, D.C., including conspiracy to launder money and failing to register as a foreign lobbyist. Manafort is also accused of acting as an unregistered foreign agent of Ukraine and obstructing justice.

The Washington, D.C., trial follows Manafort's Virginia trial, which ended last month with his conviction on eight felony counts of tax and bank fraud. The federal jury declared a mistrial on 10 other charges.

Manafort is due to be sentenced on those counts later this year. 

One of those counts, failing to report foreign bank accounts, carries a maximum of five years in prison; and he was found guilty on two count of bank fraud, which carry a maximum sentence of 30 years.

Manafort's conviction last month marked a victory for special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's investigation. Russia and the 2016 election, however, were not major parts of the trial against Manafort. Mueller's more than yearlong probe has charged more than two-dozen Russians in separate plots to use social media to sow discord among the American public and hack into Democratic organizations and U.S. electoral systems.

Manafort has denied the accusations against him, which came about as a result of Mueller's ongoing investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election.

In addition to Manafort's indictment last month, prosecutors in New York obtained a guilty plea from Michael Cohen, the president's former longtime attorney. Cohen, in pleading guilty, also implicated Trump in a felony campaign finance violation.

Trump, meanwhile, has attacked the Mueller investigation for months, deeming it a "witch hunt" and calling on Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsHillicon Valley: Trump cyber strategy lets US go on offense | AT&T urges court to let Time Warner merger stand | Conservatives want wife of DOJ official to testify | Facebook, nonprofits team up to fight fake news | DC camera hacker pleads guilty Vote Democrat in midterms to rein in Trump, preserve justice Sessions limits ability of judges to dismiss deportation cases MORE to end the probe formally.Trump has also accused prosecutors of treating Manafort, whom he called a "good man," worse than famed gangster Al Capone.

-- Updated at 7 p.m.