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Paul Manafort's Former Son-in-Law Has Secretly Flipped to Work with Federal Investigators: Reports

May 17, 2018 in Blogs

By Cody Fenwick, AlterNet

The plea agreement is reportedly under seal — but it might still be used to pressure Trump's former campaign chair.

Jeffrey Yohai is not particularly famous, but he may be playing a major role in the most noteworthy investigation in the country, according to multiple reports Thursday.

Yohai is the former business partner and former son-in-law of Paul Manafort — he divorced Manafort's daughter last August — and according to reports from Reuters and NBC News, he has pleaded guilty to federal investigators and has agreed to cooperate with the government on other matters. Manafort, who served is President Donald Trump's campaign manager during a crucial period ahead of the 2016 presidential election, has faced indictments on multiple charges from special counsel Robert Mueller.

It's not yet clear if Yohai is cooperating in Mueller's investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and potential collusion with the Trump campaign, but that would seem to be a plausible implication to draw. The plea deal remains sealed, according to Reuters.

Many observers believe that Mueller may be using charges against Manafort as leverage to obtain evidence or testimony against the president, or other top officials. However, Mueller could be interested in pressing the Manafort charges simply on their own merits.

If Yohai has become a cooperating witness in the Russia investigation, he is far from the first. George Papadopoulos, Michael Flynn, and Manafort's former business partner Rick Gates are among those who are already reported to be working with investigators.

But if you're facing pressure from a federal investigation, it's likely the last person you would want cooperating with the government is someone who was once a member of your own family.

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