Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, agreed on Friday to cooperate with the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, as part of a deal in which he pleaded guilty to reduced charges.
Appearing in United States District Court in Washington, Mr. Manafort entered guilty pleas on two charges. Andrew Weissmann, the lead prosecutor, told Judge Amy Berman Jackson that there was a cooperation agreement with Mr. Manafort.
It was not immediately clear what information he might be providing to prosecutors or how the plea agreement might affect Mr. Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and related questions about possible collusion by the Trump campaign and obstruction of justice by Mr. Trump.
The president’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, quickly sought to distance Mr. Trump from the development.
“Once again an investigation has concluded with a plea having nothing to do with President Trump or the Trump campaign,” he said in a statement. “The reason: the president did nothing wrong and Paul Manafort will tell the truth.”
Not sure whether this is Manafort having little faith in a Trump pardon, Manafort being worried about state charges, or both.
In related news, Jeffrey Toobin’s recent profile of Rudy “This Is Excellent News For Donald Trump!” Guiliani is excellent.