Paul Manafort

This week in the Russia investigation: Paul Manafort turns state's evidence ... what will he tell the government?

St. Paul

After a long career as an advocate for political animals of nearly every kind across the world, Paul Manafort is now going to work for the United States government.

Updated at 2:49 p.m. ET

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort pleaded guilty on Friday and agreed to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller in his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Manafort entered his guilty plea to two felony counts during an hourlong hearing in federal court in Washington, D.C. The plea took place three days before he was to face trial on charges related to his lobbying work for Ukraine and alleged witness tampering.

Updated at 8:15 p.m. ET

Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is close to reaching a plea deal that would avert a trial scheduled to start later this month in Washington, D.C.

No details were immediately available about the charges to which Manafort might plead guilty or whether he might cooperate with prosecutors, according to a person familiar with the matter. The person asked not to be identified.

The tentative deal was first reported on Thursday evening by ABC News.

Three stories made major headlines Tuesday: Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was found guilty of fraud by a jury; Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen made a plea deal admitting to campaign finance violations; and an undocumented immigrant was arrested for the murder of 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts in Iowa. How CNN and Fox News covered each story, though, was worlds apart.

Updated at 4:23 p.m. ET

President Trump said Wednesday that he only found out "later on" about payments his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen arranged before the 2016 election to try to silence two women who claimed they had affairs with Trump.

However, Trump has been heard on a tape with Cohen discussing arranging payment to one of the women.

In a split-screen whiplash, a regular Tuesday turned into a blockbuster, with two top people close to President Trump now facing prison.

First, it was Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, found guilty of tax evasion and bank fraud by a jury in Virginia. Minutes later, in New York, it was Trump's longtime former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, pleading guilty to tax evasion, falsifying submissions to a bank and campaign finance violations.

Updated at 6:26 p.m. ET

A federal jury on Tuesday found Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, guilty on eight of the 18 charges he faced in his tax and bank fraud trial.

The verdict delivered a painful fall from grace for a top political operative who has advised presidents from Gerald Ford to Donald Trump and a shot in the arm to an investigation derided by President Trump as a "witch hunt."

Updated at 1:59 p.m. ET

Paul Manafort's defense team rested on Tuesday without calling any witnesses to testify in the bank and tax fraud trial, including Manafort himself.

The move means the trial is nearing its end, as closing arguments are expected to begin on Wednesday morning.

Defense attorney Kevin Downing told Judge T.S. Ellis III about his team's decision before the court broke for lunch Tuesday and repeated it again in the afternoon to make it official in front of the jury.

Bank and tax fraud trials normally aren't very compelling theater.

When it's the former campaign chairman for the current president of the United States, however, and it's the first trial brought by a special counsel tasked with investigating Russian interference in American democracy, things are a bit more interesting.

Updated at 7:34 p.m. ET

After an initial focus on Paul Manafort's lavish spending, including on luxury suits and home landscaping, the former Trump campaign chairman's trial has now moved squarely into the heart of his alleged financial crimes

On Day 4 of the federal trial Friday in Alexandria, Va., jurors heard from two of Manafort's former tax accountants, Cindy Laporta and Philip Ayliff. Their testimony directly addressed the bank and tax fraud charges the government has brought against Manafort.

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