Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort faced a second trial this month on seven counts of foreign lobbying violations and witness tampering.

Reports have surfaced this morning that Manafort will plead guilty to two criminal charges. Special counsel Robert Mueller has filed superseding criminal information, which “typically precedes a guilty plea, and a plea hearing for Manafort has been scheduled for 11 a.m. in federal court in Washington, D.C.”

*UPDATE

Manafort has officially pleaded guilty in a federal court and this includes cooperating with Mueller. From Politico:

The deal dismisses deadlocked charges against Manafort from an earlier trial, but only after “successful cooperation” with Mueller’s probe into Russian election interference and whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Moscow on its efforts. Mueller prosecutor Andrew Weissmann did not immediately expand on what cooperation is required under the deal.

The agreement also calls for a 10-year cap on how long Manafort will be sent to prison, and for Manafort to serve time from his separate Virginia and Washington cases concurrently. But it will not release Manafort from jail, where he has been held since Mueller’s team added witness tampering charges during the run-up to the longtime lobbyist’s trial.

Manafort addressed U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson in a soft voice, saying “I do” and “I understand” as she asked him whether he understood what rights he’s giving up. A deputy marshal stood directly behind Manafort, a reminder that he remains in custody.

Politico also reported that legal experts believe this plea deal is a win for both sides:

Manafort gets a potentially shorter sentence and lessens his legal bills. Trump avoids several weeks of bad headlines ahead of the midterm elections about his corrupt former campaign aide. And Mueller — faced with Trump’s constant claims that his probe is a witch hunt — gets to show yet again that his charges are not fabricated and can now divert resources to other elements of his Russia probe.

But the prospect of Manafort’s cooperation with Mueller throws into doubt how much of a win the deal could be for Trump. In addition to running Trump’s campaign for several months, Manafort attended the infamous Trump Tower meeting where Trump aides thought they might get dirt on Hillary Clinton from a Kremlin-linked lawyer.

*From earlier this morning…

In August, a federal jury convicted Manafort “of not reporting to tax authorities more than $16 million he earned for political consulting work in Ukraine in the early 2010s.” He faces 8 to 10 years in prison.

We do not know yet if Manafort agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. From The Wall Street Journal:

In connection with the agreement, Mr. Manafort agreed to forfeit four of his multi-million-dollar homes, including a Brooklyn townhome and an estate on Long Island, and funds in multiple bank accounts. Other terms of the deal couldn’t immediately be determined, including whether they include any requirement for Mr. Manafort to cooperate in Mr. Mueller’s inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 election and any links to the Trump campaign.

Mr. Manafort has resisted any notion of cooperating with Mr. Mueller, and his lawyer said at the outset of the Virginia trial that there was no chance of such cooperation.

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