Tierney Sneed

Tierney Sneed is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked for U.S. News and World Report. She grew up in Florida and attended Georgetown University.

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Updated at 9:08 a.m. ET, Friday, Sept. 14, 2018

Special counsel Robert Mueller and former Trump campaign Paul Manafort have reached what ABC News is describing as a “tentative” plea deal to avert his upcoming trial in D.C., the network reported Thursday based on sources familiar with the negotiations. Other news outlets offered similar reports overnight, and Fox News reported Friday morning that a plea agreement had been reached.

The initial ABC report said that it was not clear yet whether the deal includes Manafort’s cooperation, which the network previously reported was a desire of the special counsel in the negotiations. Manafort had resisted agreeing to cooperate, particularly where President Trump was concerned, according to ABC News’ previous reporting.

An agreement would resolve the cases against Manafort in DC and Virginia, CNN reported.

According to the latest report, the deal is expected to be announced in court in D.C. on Friday. Just as the news of the tentative deal was breaking, a previously scheduled pretrial hearing in the D.C. case was pushed back from 9:30 a.m. ET to 11 a.m. ET.

Manafort has already been convicted of eight counts brought by Mueller in a case, focused on tax fraud and bank fraud allegations, that went to trial in Virginia this summer. The jury there was deadlocked on 10 others.

In the D.C. case, Manafort is facing charges of money laundering, witness tampering, and failure to disclose foreign lobbying.

The money laundering and foreign lobbying charges stem from consulting work Manafort did in Ukraine that predated the 2016 campaign. The witness tampering allegations were brought earlier this year, and Manafort has been in jail, awaiting trial, since June because of them.

Manafort joined the Trump campaign in late-March 2016, and by summer had risen to campaign chair, where he helped Trump navigate the final stretches of the GOP primary. He was ousted from the campaign in August, with growing scrutiny of the Ukraine work.

In Ukraine, Manafort worked for the pro-Russia Party of Regions, and according to prosecutors, coordinated a covert campaign to lobby U.S. officials on his clients’ interests.

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After reports began emerging of plea discussions between Paul Manafort and special counsel Robert Mueller ahead of Manafort’s trial in D.C., I talked to a few former prosecutors Monday about how such a plea deal would go down.

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At the tail end of Monday’s hearing for Maria Butina — the young Russian woman who has been charged with acting as an unregistered agent of the Russian government — her lawyer raised for the judge a potential issue regarding discrepancies in how the prosecutors were translating Russian-language materials that were part of the case and how the defense team was translating the materials.

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North Carolina is fighting subpoenas sent by Trump’s Justice Department seeking millions of voting records from the state — including the ballots cast — for an ICE noncitizen voting investigation. Even after the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Eastern North Carolina extended the deadline for the state to turn over the records from this month — which would have disrupted election preparation plans — to January 2019, North Carolina’s Board Of Elections says the subpoenas are still too broad and the state attorney general is requesting that they be withdrawn.

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