The very existence of Manafort's plea deal means he's already given Mueller significant dirt: Ex-federal prosecutor
Paul Manafort and Donald Trump (RawStory / Composite)

Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti on Friday laid out the legal machinations behind former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller -- and none of it seems like good news for President Donald Trump.

Among other things, Mariotti noted that agreeing to cooperate with investigators in a plea deal means you must tell them everything they want to know -- in other words, Manafort couldn't agree to cooperate in a case against Jared Kushner, but then not cooperate in a case against the president.

More ominously for the White House, Mariotti says that there's no way Mueller would have struck a plea deal with Manafort unless he'd already given him useful information up front before the deal was accepted in court on Friday morning.

"Manafort is not cooperating against one person in particular," Mariotti wrote. "He has agreed to say everything he knows, and in order to receive a deal, he had to already begin doing so. Prosecutors don’t give deals until after the defendant provides useful info."

Mariotti cautioned that Mueller may not have accepted the Manafort plea deal specifically to get to Trump -- although he does say that Manafort will now have to cough up everything he knows about the president if he is asked.

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