Former Trump campaign chief Manafort to cooperate in Russian Federation probe

Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz on Friday said former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortManafort reaches "tentative" plea deal with Mueller: report Giuliani says possible Manafort plea deal not a concern Manafort seeks plea deal without special counsel cooperation: report MORE's guilty plea earlier that day was a "big win" for special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russian Federation probe MORE in his investigation.

Jury selection was due to begin on Monday (local time) in a second Manafort trial on charges including conspiring to launder money, conspiring to defraud the United States, failing to register as a foreign agent and witness tampering.

But Schiff did suggest a few possible ways in which Manafort - who was convicted last month on tax and bank fraud charges and faced more legal jeopardy - could shed light on questions involving possible Trump campaign conspiracy with Russian sabotage of the election or obstruction of justice.

"Well of course they should be", Dershowitz said, though he noted that Manafort is "not a credible witness" and might not be able to prove Trump's guilt on an impeachable offense.

The decision by Trump's onetime personal lawyer Michael Cohen to plead guilty last month in a federal investigation in Manhattan particularly angered the president, who denounced him as a "flipper".

Under the terms of the deal, Manafort was allowed to plead guilty to just two conspiracy counts, though the crimes he admitted cover the same conduct alleged in an indictment previous year.

Rudy Giuliani, Trump's attorney, echoed that. In addition to the financial and lobbying charges against Manafort, the special counsel's team has said it's investigating allegations he colluded with Russian Federation while working for Trump. The stunning development that Manafort will assist prosecutors who went after him on a raft of money laundering and tax charges.


Under the terms of the plea deal, prosecutors dropped the bulk of the charges against Manafort, filing new paperwork that includes just two counts that resemble in many ways the original allegations made in an indictment a year ago.

Manafort's guilty plea Friday appears to set that question aside, for now. "He's accepted responsibility. This is for conduct that dates back many years and everybody should remember that", said attorney Kevin Downing. The latter charge is just a fancy way of saying he got caught moving money around and doing shady stuff for oligarchs-you know, normal Washington D.C. stuff (the worst thing to ever happen to Manafort was winning an election, if we had President Hillary Clinton right now, Manafort would still be peddling the influence of foreign nations in our nation's capital).

Manafort is still subject to whatever sentence is imposed in the Virginia trial.

"This had absolutely nothing to do with the president or his victorious 2016 presidential campaign", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.

In the past year, Mueller has secured pleas from a former national security adviser who lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about discussing sanctions with a Russian ambassador, a campaign aide who broached the idea of a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin; and another aide who was indicted alongside Manafort but ultimately turned on him.

There was no sentencing Friday, and Manafort is still detained in prison in Alexandria.

The jury in that case deadlocked on 10 counts that on Friday were dropped as part of the plea deal.


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