“Paul Manafort is the one who wouldn’t plea, he’s the one who wouldn’t negotiate” so “it is big and new tonight” that he reportedly sought a plea deal for D.C. trial – @AriMelber pic.twitter.com/lrYRXFA8Z0
— TheBeat w/Ari Melber (@TheBeatWithAri) August 27, 2018
It looks like somebody has lost confidence in receiving any presidential pardons.
Courtesy of WSJ:
Paul Manafort’s defense team held talks with prosecutors to resolve a second set of charges against the former Trump campaign chairman before he was convicted last week, but they didn’t reach a deal, and the two sides are now moving closer to a second trial next month, according to people familiar with the matter.
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.
Representatives for Messrs. Manafort and Mueller declined to comment.
The talks were aimed at forestalling a second, related trial for Mr. Manafort, which is scheduled to begin on Sept. 17 in Washington.
This represents a complete about-face for Manafort who up until this point seemed uninterested in making a plea deal and seemed determined to take his chances with a jury trial.
This is especially interesting since there were various news reports that Trump had discussed granting Manafort a presidential pardon if things went badly for him in court.
Now it appears that Manafort has no confidence that a pardon is in his future, and seems eager to join Cohen, Papadopolous, Pecker, and Weisselberg as former Trump folks who have made a deal to protect themselves in exchange for dropping a dime on Donald Trump.