Manafort pleads guilty, will cooperate with Russia probe

Photo: Special Counsel Robert Mueller

US President Donald Trump’s former campaign chief Paul Manafort said he will cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into the 2016 election, after he pled guilty to federal crimes.

Mr Trump’s lawyer in the Russia probe and former New York city mayor, Rudy Giuliani, claimed that Manafort “knows nothing harmful to the president and the plea is the best evidence of this”.

Manafort helmed the campaign during the 2016 election, playing an important role, including being present at the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Russians and Trump’s son and son-in-law.

The meeting was originally described as a meeting to discuss adoptions of Russian children by Donald Trump Jr, but Donald Trump later contradicted this version of events, saying it was to get damaging information on Hillary Clinton.

According to legal experts, Manafort’s information may deepen the Russia probe, with figures increasingly close to Mr Trump taking plea bargains.

Mr Trump has made repeated calls for the probe to be shut down, labelling it a “witch hunt”.

 

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