Robert Mueller

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.

Special counsel Robert Mueller has reportedly dropped his insistence that President Trump appear in person to answer questions related to potential coordination his 2016 election campaign and Russia, agreeing instead to accept written responses.

The New York Times first reported on a letter sent Friday to the White House by Mueller making the offer. It comes after months of wrangling over whether Trump would or would not sit for an interview with the special counsel.

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.

In a series of tweets over the weekend, President Trump responded to a story published in The New York Times that detailed extensive cooperation between White House counsel Donald McGahn and the inquiry by special counsel Robert Mueller into obstruction of justice and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

This week in the Russia investigations: President Trump strikes back at one of his most politically dangerous critics. Will a short-term victory have longer-term costs?

The revocation, Part 1

President Trump made good on his threat to revoke the security clearance held by former CIA Director John Brennan this week, escalating the politics of the Russia imbroglio in an important way.

Trump, whether or not this was his intention, has demoted Brennan from what lawyers might call a "fact witness" to a simple critic.

Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET

President Trump asked his attorney general to stop Robert Mueller's special counsel investigation Wednesday morning, as the first trial stemming from that investigation entered its second day.

Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, is on trial in Alexandria, Va., for bank and tax fraud charges, not, as Trump noted in a Twitter thread Wednesday morning, for "collusion."

Updated at 7:33 p.m. ET

On the first day of Paul Manafort's trial, prosecutors sought to paint him as a man with absurdly extravagant taste who thought he was above the law, while the former Trump campaign manager's defense lawyers tossed blame onto one of his closest associates.

Most tax and bank fraud cases are built on stacks of bland business documents and Internal Revenue Service paperwork — hardly the stuff of international intrigue.

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