Top Dem says Trump is 'terrified' of what Manafort could reveal

US President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort is set to plead guilty to more federal charges. (File

US President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort is set to plead guilty to more federal charges. (File

"He was under tremendous pressure", the former judge said, explaining Manafort's decision during an interview on "ABC This Week".

Manafort agreed to cooperate with the special counsel's Russian Federation probe and pleaded guilty to two federal crimes as part of Friday's plea deal.

But Starr cautioned that cooperating witnesses in deals like this do not always end up giving the prosecutor what they had hoped for.

All of which is to say that this has been an extremely fruitful special counsel investigation already.

Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's feeble campaign chairman, will get to take care of his $1.25 million dwelling at the BallenIsles Country Membership in Palm Sea scramble Gardens, Florida. The deal, as I understand it, says that Manafort will cooperate about anything that the special counsel asks him about.

In myriad, secretive and criminal ways, Manafort made tens of millions illegally advancing Kremlin interests, for instance by working with Israelis to smear Ukraine's pro-democracy government as anti-Semitic.

Manafort, who worked for the Trump campaign for almost six months in the middle of 2016, was already convicted in a separate jury trial on eight counts related to financial fraud in August. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders quickly released a statement saying, "This had absolutely nothing to do with the president or his victorious 2016 presidential campaign".

Paul Manafort has worn many hats: an worldwide political operative, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Trump confidant Roger Stone's business partner and now government witness.

There has been speculation that President Trump could pardon Manafort but that is now moot.

Mr. Mueller's investigation gained momentum Friday with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort striking a plea deal and agreeing to cooperate with the probe. "It is totally unrelated".

Associated Press/Craig Ruttle; Associated Press/Alex Brandon; Business InsiderMichael Cohen and Paul Manafort are the two highest ranking people who have flipped. In that way, Manafort's deal isn't really just about Manafort, and it may not be only about what he knows. He did not elaborate on the agreement. The second count, for conspiracy to obstruct justice, concerns attempts to tamper with witnesses related to Manafort's foreign lobbying.

Paul Manafort, former campaign manager for Donald Trump, exits the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse, Feb. 28, 2018, in Washington, DC.

A court filing Friday shows a plea hearing is set for later in the morning.

Another potential factor in the possible plea is how many of Manafort's assets he would be forced to forfeit, and whether he is able to preserve more assets for his family by making a deal.

Prosecutors had filed new charging documents against Manafort.

Plea deals typically require the person to share useful information with prosecutors, but prosecutors will sometimes give concessions to someone who won't cooperate but is willing to plead guilty to some charges.

Trump's former longtime attorney Michael Cohen went from serving as his personal "pit bull" to implicating Trump in campaign law violations - the same day Manafort was convicted in his first federal trial in the Eastern District of Virginia.

The jury couldn't reach a verdict on three other foreign bank account charges, and the remaining bank fraud and conspiracy counts.

The government will take over four of Manafort's properties and money from several bank accounts, according to court records.

It's unclear whether any agreement with prosecutors would require him to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

The move allows him to avoid a second criminal trial and ends Manafort's more than year-long fight against investigators in the Russian Federation investigation. Perhaps Manafort lost his will or the financial means to fight.

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