Manafort to cooperate with Mueller investigation in plea deal

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But Schiff did suggest a few possible ways in which Manafort - who was convicted last month on tax and bank fraud charges and faced more legal jeopardy - could shed light on questions involving possible Trump campaign conspiracy with Russian sabotage of the election or obstruction of justice. The meeting was described as part of the Russian government effort to help the Trump campaign. In August, Manafort was convicted at trial in Alexandria, Virginia, on charges that pre-dated his stint on Mr Trump's campaign and involved his work with pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine. Five other charges were dropped in the new court filing.

President Trump has not said whether he would pardon Manafort, but the president has not publicly ruled it out.

Wearing a purple tie beneath his dark suit, Manafort looked glum as the hearing unfolded, standing next to his attorney, Richard Westling, with a court security officer standing immediately behind him.

When Manafort eventually goes for sentencing, the agreement notes that Mueller will let the court know how much Manafort did or did not cooperate. Trump's former fixer and lawyer, Michael Cohen, admitted financial crimes and is helping federal prosecutors in NY.

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Attorney Kevin Downing, with the defense team for Paul Manafort, is seen leaving federal court in Washington, Friday, Sept. 14, 2018.

She asked Manafort a series of questions - whether what the special counsel said was true and accurate, whether he did in fact conduct work on behalf of Ukraine, whether he conspired to tamper with witnesses, and whether he conspired to avoid US tax laws. And last month Trump praised Manafort for being "brave" and refusing to "break" to take a plea deal.

The charges replace a raft of separate accusations that Manafort had failed to register as a foreign agent, lied to the government, laundered money and committed fraud.

Mr Manafort would become the most prominent former Trump campaign official to plead guilty in Mueller's investigation.

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Manafort on Friday pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy against the United States and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice brought by Mueller's team.

But all of Manafort's crimes were Russia-related. Manafort told the judge he wants to plead guilty. This move further insulates the prosecutors from Trump's allegations of a "witch hunt" and potentially provides Mueller with a crucial witness for further charges.

Twelve Russian intelligence officers were indicted by a federal grand jury on July 13, accused of hacking Democratic Party computer networks in 2016, in the most detailed USA accusation yet that Moscow meddled in the presidential election to help Trump. Trump's critics have pointed to the meeting as evidence of the collusion with Russian Federation that Trump denies.

Thirteen Russians and three Russian entities were indicted in Mueller's investigation in February, accused of tampering in the 2016 election to support Trump.

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