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As the most reliable and balanced news aggregation service on the internet, DML News offers the following information published by REUTERS.COM:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort will cooperate with the federal investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, a dramatic turnaround that deals the U.S. president a setback.

After months of refusing to assist Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry into Russian interference and possible coordination between Trump campaign members and Moscow, Manafort finally took a plea deal on Friday and agreed to cooperate in return for reduced charges.

The article goes on to state the following:

Manafort, 69, pleaded guilty in a federal court in Washington on Friday to counts of conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice, becoming the most prominent former Trump campaign official to admit to committing crimes. Manafort is the fifth person linked to Trump to plead guilty to criminal charges.

Mueller’s team told the court that Manafort had previewed what information he could offer, leading to the deal. The plea agreement requires him to cooperate completely with the government, which includes giving interviews without his attorney present and testifying before any grand juries or at any trials.

Manafort is facing up to 10 years in prison on the two charges in Washington alone, and another eight to ten years on a conviction in Virginia in August on tax and bank fraud charges.

But depending on the extent of his cooperation and the degree to which prosecutors argue for reducing his sentence, Manafort could end up getting anywhere from a year to five years in prison, according to Mark Allenbaugh. “It would not surprise me if he got time served for both cases,” Allenbaugh said.

The report furtherindicates:

In court on Friday, Manafort stood stock still before the judge, answering her questions with single words in a low tone, or sat at the defense table. He sat straight or leaned his chin on his right hand throughout a lengthy recital of the charges to which he pleaded guilty.

Cornell University professor of law Jens David Ohlin said it was hard to predict what information a cooperation agreement will yield but that Manafort’s plea deal could be a serious problem for Trump.

“If Manafort is willing to give Mueller information about Trump’s contacts with Russia, whether the contacts were direct or indirect, then this really is a disaster for Trump and his associates.”

Moscow rejects the conclusions of U.S. intelligence agencies that it interfered in the American democratic process and Trump denies campaign collusion.

“He knows nothing harmful to the president and the plea is the best evidence of that,” Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who is representing Trump in the Russia probe, told Reuters.

DML News offers the following additional information published by TheHill.com:

Rudy Giuliani told The Hill Friday that President Trump has nothing to be concerned about from Paul Manafort’s decision to cooperate with prosecutors.

Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, pleaded guilty to additional charges on Friday morning, roughly three weeks after being convicted on eight criminal counts in a Virginia court.

The article goes on to state the following:

Giuliani said that if Manafort had incriminating evidence on Trump, special counsel Robert Mueller’s team “would have had him plead to a conspiracy that would encompass the president.”

Giuliani also criticized Mueller’s team — naming prosecutor Andrew Weissman specifically — for failing to dampen the idea that Manafort could be cooperating against Trump.

“One of the things they should do, if they were ethical, is to cut off the speculation,” Giuliani said, claiming that he used to do this in his days as a federal prosecutor if there was erroneous speculation in the media about one of his cases.

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