Another pawn falls. When we last left him three weeks ago, Paul Manafort, US President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, was found guilty on eight counts and awaiting trial for seven more. On September 14, he waved the white flag, pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy against the US, one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice and all the other crimes Mueller accused him of since last October.
In return for a reduction in jail sentence from 20 to 10 years (still almost a life sentence for the 69-year-old), Manafort forfeited well over 22 million US dollars in assets and agreed to fully cooperate with Mueller’s special counsel investigation. With Manafort in the palm of his hand, Mueller has gained full access to his first witness of the infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting. He may now have definitive proof that the Trump campaign willingly colluded with the Russians.