Manafort could unlock Russian Federation puzzle, bring probe to Trump's family

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Speculation that Manafort's deal will be the death knell for the President is largely based on the assumption that there is substance to the allegation that Mr Trump, or figures in his campaign, colluded with Russian Federation to swing the 2016 election in his favour.

Manafort's conviction in Alexandria, Virginia, last month was at a trial arising from Mueller's investigation.

The disgraced former Trump campaign chair and his attorneys had four hours Thursday in talks with Robert Mueller's special counsel probe prosecutors to try to stop his second trial going ahead.

Manafort whose crimes extend as far back as to his career as a political consultant in Ukraine, can now shape the final stages of the Russian Federation inquiry as he has been at the centre of the presidential campaign.

"It's so terrific for the investigation, and frankly for the American people, that we're moving forward and we're getting someone who may be knowledgable", Starr said.

Manafort, who appeared jovial earlier in the day amid signs the jury was struggling in its deliberations, focused intently as the clerk read off the charges.

The trial did not resolve the central question behind Mueller's investigation - whether Trump associates co-ordinated with Russian Federation to influence the election.

Mueller had already secured co-operation from a former Trump national security adviser who lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about discussing sanctions with a Russian ambassador; a Trump campaign aide who broached the idea of a meeting with Putin; and another aide who was indicted alongside Manafort but ultimately turned on him. "It shows you've admitted your guilt", he said before a deal was announced.

A jury in the Virginia case found Manafort guilty on 8 of the 18 counts, and the judge declared a mistrial on the other 10. As a member of the campaign when Trump clinched the Republican nomination, Manafort could shed light on the campaign's foreign policy strategy and contacts with Russians.

In Friday morning remarks to reporters, Mr Trump said "Manafort has nothing to do with our campaign", adding: "You know, Paul Manafort worked for me for a very short period of time..." But his involvement in key episodes under scrutiny, and his leadership of the campaign at a time when prosecutors say Russian intelligence was working to sway the election, may make him an especially valuable witness.

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Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has cut a "cooperation agreement" with prosecutors and intends to plead guilty to charges related to his Ukrainian consulting work.

If so, it will not be forgotten by the White House that Manafort fought a long and determined war with federal prosecutors at great personal cost while remaining loyal to the President.

After a long career as an advocate for political animals of almost every kind across the world, Paul Manafort is now going to work for the United States government.

The President has been quite publicly supportive of Manafort since criminal charges were first filed against his former campaign chairman. As part of his agreement with prosecutors, he said he would tell the special counsel's office all that he knows.

Manafort has already been convicted of financial fraud in Virginia.

Fuelling speculation over Russia's role in the last presidential election is a June 9, 2016 meeting in Trump Tower in NY.

Furthermore, there is a good deal of circumstantial evidence to suggest that Trump knew about the infamous Trump Tower meeting with representatives of the Russian government before it happened, which he has denied. "Such respect for a courageous man!"

Manafort's Arlington home, valued at $1.7 million on Zillow, was also up for forfeiture on the fourth superseding indictment against him, but he kept it by giving up the Chinatown apartment instead.

He also gave up his Trump Tower apartment so he could retain another bank account, the plea deal said. Everything's wonderful and then they get 10 years in jail and they - they flip on whoever the next highest one is, or as high as you can go'.

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