According to reports, Paul Manafort, 69, is discussing an agreement with prosecutors in DC
According to reports, Paul Manafort is discussing an agreement with prosecutors before his second trial, a move that could worry the supporters of President Donald Trump.
The preliminary negotiations may not lead to an agreement to cooperate with Special Advisor Robert Mueller, who is prosecuting Manafort, the Washington Post reported, citing two anonymous sources familiar with the discussions cited by him.
Manafort, 69, was the president of Trump's campaign during part of the 2016 election, although none of the charges in the upcoming Washington DC or former Virginia trial are related to the elections.
In the first trial, Manafort was convicted of eight counts of financial crimes, while the jury was left with the remaining 10 counts.
Manafort is seen outside the court in June. He was convicted on eight charges at his first trial last month, and is said to be discussing a plea agreement before the second trial.
Trump tweeted his support for Manafort with the news of the conviction, writing: "I feel very bad for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family."
Trump added: "He refused to" break ": invent stories to get a" deal. "That respect for a brave man!
It is unclear if any plea agreement reached in the second trial would include providing Mueller with information about Trump.
Manafort had the option to consolidate the two tests, but declined: an aggressive tactic that signaled his intention to fight against each of the charges against him.
A possible plea agreement would be a dramatic change in the legal strategy. The Manafort spokesperson refused to comment to the Post and his lawyers did not respond to a request for comment.
Trump previously praised his former campaign president for refusing to accept a deal
Manafort is awaiting sentencing at the first trial and faces up to 10 years in prison in that case.
Trump and his spokesmen have not ruled out Manafort's pardon and have the power to pardon the convictions of the first or second trial.
Rudy Giuliani, the President's personal lawyer, has only said that Trump would refrain from issuing any pardons until Mueller completes his investigation.
Meanwhile, Manafort remains imprisoned in the prison of the city of Alexandria in Virginia. It is not clear if any agreement with Mueller in the second case could affect the sentence in the first.
The selection of the jury in the second trial is scheduled to begin on Monday, and opening statements are scheduled for September 24.
Manafort faces charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States, money laundering, not registering as a foreign lobbyist, making false statements to investigators and falsifying witnesses.