Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager, will co-operate with Mueller inquiry

Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager, will co-operate with Mueller inquiry

Manafort pleads guilty in cooperation deal;...

As part of his deal, the government plans to seize four properties, including a almost US$2 million house in Arlington, Virginia, owned by one of Manafort's daughters.

The trial would have focused on allegations he acted as an unregistered foreign agent for Ukrainian interests.

After all, while Mueller has played the jail card, Manafort is still likely to be holding the Trump Card - - and no one remains in prison when that card is played.

Trump minimized Manafort's involvement in his campaign after a security briefing in August 2016, amid reports of a $12.7million "off the books" payment to Manafort from the pro-Russian Ukrainian Party of Regions political party.

Friday's move gives Mueller another successful conviction while allowing Manafort to avoid facing another costly public trial.

In this photo taken July 21, 2016, then-Trump Campaign manager Paul Manafort stands between the then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka Trump during a walk through at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Manafort sat emotionless and spoke quietly in court Friday, muttering answers to the judge's questions regarding the deal. The White House said in a statement that the agreement had "absolutely nothing to do" with the president or his 2016 campaign. "It is totally unrelated".

In-person jury selection for his Washington trial was set to start Monday, with opening statements scheduled for September 24.

Following last month's verdict, a juror in the case told news outlets that the jury agreed to throw out Gates' testimony because they found him unreliable.

During Manafort's Virginia trial, the president had spoken spoke warmly of him.

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Prosecutor Andrew Weissmann said at the beginning of Friday's plea hearing that Manafort has agreed to cooperate with investigators. He did not elaborate on the agreement. The 38-page information document is extraordinary in its scope, and it lays out detailed counter-arguments to Trump's "witch hunt!" tirade, and the cost of the investigation is of no concern now that Manafort's wardrobe full of ostrich jackets could pay for a second Mueller investigation all on their own. In addition to failing to register as a foreign agent himself, Manafort admitted to taking steps to prevent the firms and lobbyists he hired from registering as foreign agents.

Had he made a decision to cooperate with prosecutors well before that trial began - he had months to do so - the plea agreement would probably have looked a lot different, and more balanced, than the one filed in court Friday in D.C.

Instead Manafort entered the plea.

Prosecutors filed new charging documents against Manafort which contained a criminal information, a document that can only be filed with a defendant's consent and typically signals a deal has been reached.

Manafort is expected to appear in court later Friday morning.

Manafort's cooperation could yield Mueller the most important information yet when it comes to President Trump's potential conspiracy with the Russian government to win the 2016 election.

Manafort was convicted in Virginia on charges that pre-dated his stint on the Trump campaign and involved his work with pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine.

Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is preparing to plead guilty in a Washington court to avoid a second trial over further criminal charges.

ABC News on Thursday evening reported prosecutors would announce a deal between the parties in court on Friday. The network cited three unidentified sources with knowledge of the deal.

That includes Manafort's former deputy, Rick Gates, who testified against Manafort in Virginia.

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