Bad news for Trump: Manafort agrees to spill Trump's secrets to Mueller
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort agreed to spill about Trump and 2016 campaign contacts with Russians.
IranPress/America: Paul Manafort who has had extensive financial and professional ties with Russia and with Kremlin-backed politicians in former Soviet republics over more than a decade, pleaded guilty Friday two felony conspiracy charges.
He is intimately familiar with financial interactions between Russians and Americans, including perhaps Donald Trump and agreed on Friday to tell all he knows to the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.
In court on Friday, Paul Manafort agreed to an open-ended arrangement that requires him to answer “fully, truthfully, completely and forthrightly” questions about “any and all matters” the government wants to ask about.
The deal is a decisive triumph for Mueller, who now has a cooperating witness who was at the center of the Trump campaign during a crucial period in 2016 and is likely to unsettle Trump, who had praised Manafort for standing up to prosecutors’ pressure and had hinted that he might pardon him.
This is more bad news for Trump on top of lots of bad news already.
Randall Eliason, a former federal prosecutor and a law professor at George Washington University, told Reuters on Friday that Manafort can shed light on unanswered questions revolving around the campaign and the agreement is a “pretty good deal” that suggested the Mueller team valued Manafort’s cooperation.
US president’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, quickly sought to distance Trump from the plea deal and said, “Once again an investigation has concluded with a plea having nothing to do with President Trump or the Trump campaign.”
US president Donald Trump has suffered a huge double blow as two of his former associates were convicted of financial crimes, potentially leaving the president himself in legal jeopardy.
Along with Manafort, Michael Cohen, Trump's longtime lawyer, pleaded guilty to eight charges, including campaign finance violations and directly implicated Trump in paying “hush money” to women with whom he allegedly had affairs.
Robert Mueller, is investigating possible collusion between Russia and members of Trump’s campaign team.
Trump stressed that there had been no collusion between his campaign and the Russian government and reiterated his claim the probe was a witch hunt.
Trump has repeatedly turned to Twitter to try to bend proceedings and public opinion in the direction he would like — calling for Mueller’s probe to end and demanding that the Justice Department investigate his political enemies.
He fired FBI Director James Comey because Comey would not drop the Russia investigation. He has repeatedly attacked Mueller as being politically motivated without a shred of evidence to support that allegation.
He has berated his Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for their refusal to curb the Russia investigation. He has attacked the FBI and his own intelligence agencies and enlisted allies in Congress to do the same.