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Schiff: Trump team 'terrified' of what Manafort could tell Mueller

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffDemocratic lawmakers not initially targeted in Trump DOJ leak probe: report Sunday shows - Voting rights, infrastructure in the spotlight Schiff calls Iranian presidential election 'predetermined' MORE (D-Calif.) said Sunday that he believes President TrumpDonald TrumpIran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' Ivanka Trump, Kushner distance themselves from Trump claims on election: CNN Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs chairman clashes with GOP on critical race theory | House bill introduced to overhaul military justice system as sexual assault reform builds momentum MORE and his lawyers are "terrified" at the prospect of what former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortTrial begins for Chicago banker who exchanged loans with Manafort for Trump job Legal intrigue swirls over ex-Trump exec Weisselberg: Five key points There was Trump-Russia collusion — and Trump pardoned the colluder MORE could tell prosecutors as part of a new cooperation agreement.

"They may think they know what Manafort has to say because he was part of that joint defense agreement, but they have to know that he may not have told them the full truth," Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence panel, said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"They’re terrified of what he has to say," he continued. "I’m surprised that we are where we are, that Manafort is cooperating."

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Manafort, who was convicted last month in Virginia on charges of bank and tax fraud, reached a deal on Friday to cooperate with special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE and avoid a second trial on additional charges in Washington, D.C.

The White House and Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, have downplayed the potential impact Manafort's deal may have on the president.

Trump's lawyers and Manafort's legal team had a joint defense agreement, meaning the two sides shared information. Giuliani declined to comment on whether a pardon was possible for Manafort, though he has said in the past such an offering would come after Mueller's investigation is ended.

Schiff said Sunday that other potential witnesses who could be implicated in Mueller's probe should take note of Manafort's change in legal strategy after being convicted in Virginia.

"This sends a message to anybody who’s in Bob Mueller’s crosshairs right now, you better get to the special counsel and make your deal right now," he said. "The longer you wait to come clean, the worse deal you’re going to get."