The Slatest

Manafort Was Reportedly Trying to Negotiate a Deal Ahead of Second Trial

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort leaves the courthouse with his wife, Kathleen Manafort, after an arraignment hearing as a protester holds up a sign on March 8 in Alexandria, Virginia.
Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort leaves the Alexandria, Virginia courthouse after an arraignment hearing on March 8.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Before former Trump campaign head Paul Manafort was found guilty on eight counts relating to bank and tax fraud last week, the Wall Street Journal reports Manfort’s legal team was actively negotiating a deal with prosecutors on a second set of charges set to go to trial in September, including charges of obstruction of justice, Manafort’s failure to register as a foreign agent, and conspiracy to launder money. The two sides were unable to come to agreement to avoid another trial because of issues raised by Special Counsel Robert Mueller himself about the potential agreement, according to the Journal. The exact details of Mueller’s objection remain unknown.

The negotiations, however, are an indication that Manafort is warming to the idea of cooperating with prosecutors after, for months, refusing to play ball with Mueller’s team. In the upcoming Washington, D.C. trial set to begin on Sept. 17th, “prosecutors accuse Mr. Manafort of not registering in the U.S. for his lobbying work for the Ukrainian government between 2008 and 2014, and of conspiring to launder millions of dollars in income from that work to hide it from U.S. authorities,” according to the Journal. “In June, prosecutors added charges accusing Mr. Manafort of trying to influence the testimony of potential witnesses. That prompted Judge Jackson to send Mr. Manafort to jail as he awaited trial.”

Prosecutors told the court last week they anticipated it would take 10 to 12 days to present their case against Manafort; Manafort’s defense team said their defense would likely take three or four days.