The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Paul Manafort has been trying to hash out a plea deal with Mueller ahead of his Washington, DC trial which is slated to begin in a few short weeks, but talks apparently broke down.
It is also unclear if the plea was a "straight plea" or a "cooperation plea." A cooperation plea would be the most devastating for Donald Trump and his campaign, as it would signal that Manafort is offering substantial assistance to the Special Counsel in exchange for a consideration at sentencing.
The Wall Street Journal reports the following:
The plea discussions occurred as a Virginia jury was spending four days deliberating tax and bank fraud charges against Mr. Manafort, the people said. That jury convicted him on eight counts and deadlocked on 10 others. Prosecutors accused Mr. Manafort of avoiding taxes on more than $16 million he earned in the early 2010s through political consulting work in Ukraine.
The plea talks on the second set of charges stalled over issues raised by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, one of the people said. It isn’t clear what those issues were, and the proposed terms of the plea deal couldn’t immediately be determined.
No one from Manafort or Mueller's team would comment on the article.
The D.C. trial is expected to be longer than the Virginia trial and involve different charges, including "lobbying work for the Ukrainian government between 2008 and 2014 and conspiring to launder millions of dollars in income from that work to hide it from U.S. authorities."
In the clip above, Ari Melber talks to Aruna Viswanatha, the journalist who broke the story from the Wall Street Journal.
Donald Trump will not respond to this news well at all.