Aug 27, 2018

Report: Manafort's legal team discussed plea deal

Paul Manafort arrives for a court hearing. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Prior to his conviction last week, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort's legal defense team discussed a potential plea deal with prosecutors in the hopes of avoiding a second trial, but the negotiations failed, the Wall Street Journal's Aruna Viswanatha reports.

Why it matters: President Trump praised Manafort following his guilty verdict, calling him a "brave man" for not caving into pressure to make a deal — unlike Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty to his charges.

The details: The plea negotiations took place while the Virginia jury was deliberating over Manafort's verdict, writes Viswanatha, but failed due to issues raised by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. It's unclear what those issues were.

What's next: Manafort faces a second round of charges in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. in September

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Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and U.S. ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. Meanwhile, Italy reported its first virus-related death on Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,359 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

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Wells Fargo agrees to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges

Clients use an ATM at a Wells Fargo Bank in Los Angeles, Calif. Photo: Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Wells Fargo agreed to a pay a combined $3 billion to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for opening millions of fake customer accounts between 2002 and 2016, the SEC said in a press release.

The big picture: The fine "is among the largest corporate penalties reached during the Trump administration," the Washington Post reports.