Wednesday's ruling by a federal judge against Paul Manafort makes it far more likely that the former Donald Trump campaign manager will "flip" on the president and turn state's evidence, former Watergate prosecutor Nick Ackerman explained on MSNBC's "The Beat."
Ackerman joined host Ari Melber by phone shortly after the judge's ruling was made public.
"I think there are two big things here. One is, this goes to the very heart of [Robert] Mueller's investigation," Ackerman said. "It is the two conspiracies that's were charged against Russian operatives where you have Manafort lying about one of those intelligence operatives, Konstantin Kilimnik."
"What the judge has found is that Manafort lied about the conspiracy relating to the conspiracy to break into the Democratic National Committee to steal records and lied about the conspiracy relating to the social media and the micro-targeting of voters and the use of the voter information that he provided to Kilimnik," he continued.
Ackerman also explained how today's ruling put additional pressure on Manafort to tell the truth to investigators.
"And I think one of the other big pieces here, is that ... Manafort will get hammered with a huge sentence," he noted. "And the question is, is that going to bring Manafort around to the point where he is going to have to bare all and cooperate to avoid spending the rest of his life in jail."
"It's never too late to cooperate," Ackerman reminded. "It's never too late."
"So it is not over until it's over and a very heavy sentence like this could wind up basically putting him in a position where he has no choice but to tell the truth," he added.