Paul Manafort agrees to plead guilty, avoids second trial

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WASHINGTON — Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, has reached a deal with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to avert a second trial on federal charges stemming from his lucrative work for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to speak on the record.

Prosecutors with Mueller’s office filed new criminal charges Friday in the case. The charges, which replace the existing indictment of Manafort, were done as a “criminal information,” a legal document that can only be filed with the defendant’s consent. Such filings typically indicate that a deal has been reached.

Manafort’s legal team and Mueller’s prosecutors are scheduled to appear at 11 a.m. Friday before U.S. District Judge Amy Jackson for a pretrial conference in advance of jury selection set for next week, and a plea deal could be announced at that point.

The longtime political strategist was scheduled to stand trial in Washington on charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering, acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign principal, making false statements and obstruction of justice. He was convicted last month in a separate federal trial in Alexandria, Va., on eight charges of bank and tax fraud, also related to his work in Ukraine. The jury could not reach a verdict on 10 other counts.

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