Paul Manafort cooperating with investigators in Mueller probe

Paul Manafort to plead guilty as part of plea deal with special counsel

Any deal would not be final until Manafort admits guilt before the judge, who would need to approve the plea.

Manafort would become the most prominent former Trump campaign official to plead guilty in Mueller's investigation, which has cast a shadow over Trump's presidency.

A hearing in the case scheduled for Friday morning was pushed back, according to the federal court's electronic filing system. The charges were filed in a criminal information, a document that suggests a deal has been reached.

The charges include conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

As NBC News reports, Manafort was trying to undermine Tymoshenko as part of his work for Viktor Yanukovych, the former Kremlin-backed Ukrainian president who was ousted from power in 2014.

A Virginia jury convicted Manafort last month on bank and tax fraud charges.

A second case was opened in Virginia earlier this year on related charges that ended with a jury finding Manafort guilty on eight counts out of an 18-count indictment, facing a maximum of 80 years behind the bars, though under sentencing guidelines the term is likely to be closer to seven years.

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It's unclear how the possible deal might affect Manafort's pursuit of a pardon from President Donald Trump.

Prosecutor Andrew Weissman said in court Friday that Manafort had struck a "cooperation agreement".

"I had hoped and expected my business colleague would have had the strength to continue the battle to prove our innocence", Manafort said in February.

Paul Manafort will plead guilty to avoid a second trial. Yet, Jackson said the request appeared to relate more to concerns about the political affiliation of Washington residents, rather than a unique amount of pretrial publicity.

Prosecutors say that Manafort directed a large scale lobbying operation in the US for Ukrainian interests without registering with the Justice Department as required by the federal Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA. He is also accused of tampering with witnesses in the case. He left the campaign in August that year - days after the New York Times reported a Ukraine investigation had uncovered $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments involving Manafort from 2007 to 2012.

Manafort will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy against the United States and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, according to documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

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