Paul Manafort may have struck a deal with Robert Mueller


ABC News reported Thursday evening that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has reportedly agreed in principle to a "plea deal" with special counsel Robert Mueller that will ensure trial number two in Washington, D.C. never happens.

According to ABC News, prosecutors will announce a deal between the parties in court on Friday.

Manafort lawyer Kevin Downing and Mueller spokesman Peter Carr declined to comment on the ABC report.

He already faced a possible sentence of life behind bars before the second trial began in Washington, D.C.

Manafort is already facing 8 to 10 years in prison from the eight guilty counts in Virginia, terms that may not change significantly no matter the outcome of the second trial.

The money laundering and foreign lobbying charges stem from consulting work Manafort did in Ukraine that predated the 2016 campaign.

Following Manafort's conviction in Virginia, Trump said he felt "very badly" for Manafort and praised him for refusing to become a cooperating witness for the government like the president's former legal fixer, Michael Cohen, who separately pleaded guilty in NY to tax fraud, bank fraud and a campaign finance violation. Trump has denied colluding with the Russians. Desperate for cash, prosecutors said he lied to banks in order to secure $20 million in loans. "Unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to "break" - makeup stories in order to get a 'deal".

Before joining Trump's campaign, Manafort worked extensively for pro-Kremlin politicians and oligarchs in Ukraine. "Such respect for a fearless man!" Trump has not said whether or not he would pardon Manafort, but he has not publicly ruled it out.

Gates could be called as a prosecution witness in his Washington trial as well, as could veteran political operative Samuel Patten, who pleaded guilty to unregistered lobbying for Ukrainian politicians two weeks ago. The witness tampering allegations were brought earlier this year, and Manafort has been in jail, awaiting trial, since June because of them.

In the Virginia trial, prosecutors said Manafort hid from US tax authorities $16 million he earned as a political consultant in Ukraine to fund an opulent lifestyle that included purchasing multimillion-dollar properties, an ostrich skin jacket and other valuables.