Report: Former Trump campaign chairman to sign plea deal

Paul Manafort reportedly agrees to plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller.

Ben Ariel ,

Paul Manafort
Paul Manafort

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has tentatively agreed to a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller that will head off his upcoming trial, sources familiar with the negotiations told ABC News on Thursday.

The deal is expected to be announced in court on Friday, but it remains unclear whether Manafort has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors or is simply conceding to a guilty plea, which would allow him to avoid the stress and expense of trial, three sources with knowledge of the discussions said.

Manafort was found guilty in late August of eight charges of bank and tax fraud.

The jury found Manafort guilty on five charges of filing false income tax returns, one count of failing to report foreign bank accounts and two counts of bank fraud. A mistrial was declared on the remaining 10 counts — three counts of failing to report foreign bank accounts, five counts of bank fraud conspiracy and two counts of bank fraud – after the jury could not come to a decision on those.

Manafort faces a second trial in the US District Court for the District of Columbia on separate charges that include conspiracy, money laundering and making false and misleading as a foreign lobbyist in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

He surrendered himself to FBI agents last October after being charged with 12 counts, including conspiracy against the US. The indictment also included his former business associate, Richard Gates.

According to ABC, Manafort and his most senior defense attorneys spent more than four hours Thursday in discussions with a team of special prosecutors who are involved in the ongoing investigation into whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

ABC News spotted the team arriving in a dark SUV Thursday morning, pulling into a secret entrance out of public view at the building where Special Counsel Robert Mueller is based.

A spokesperson for Manafort and a representative for the special counsel’s office both declined to comment.