Former Trump Campaign Chair Manafort Will Cooperate with Mueller

September 14, 2018

By Carlo Versano

President Trump's former campaign chair Paul Manafort is, as of Friday, the latest of the president's ex-associates to plead guilty to felony charges.

Manafort was convicted in federal court in August of eight financial fraud charges, though "this is the first time time Paul Manafort has ever admitted to committing a crime," Ben Dreyfuss, editorial director of Mother Jones, said.

Friday's plea deal was related to a separate set of charges for which the former political consultant was awaiting trial.

As part of the plea, Manafort will cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

That is "massive news," Dreyfuss said.

Trump praised Manafort as a "brave man" when he was found guilty of bank and tax fraud last month ー roughly the same hour when Trump's former consigliere Michael Cohen was offering to cooperate, much to the chagrin of the president.

Manafort's lawyer said Friday his client had offered "full cooperation," though as Dreyfuss noted, no details have been made public yetー and what specifically Manafort could offer prosecutors remains unknown.

"No one knows what he could say except for Trump himself," Dreyfuss said.