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

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh and his accuser will testify publicly Russia probe accelerates political prospects for House Intel Dems Trump to declassify controversial text messages, documents related to Russia probe MORE (D-Calif.) said Sunday that he believes President TrumpDonald John TrumpHannity urges Trump not to fire 'anybody' after Rosenstein report Ben Carson appears to tie allegation against Kavanaugh to socialist plot Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate MORE and his lawyers are "terrified" at the prospect of what former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortFormer White House lawyer sought to pay Manafort, Gates legal fees: report Mueller investigating Russian payments made by Trump Tower meeting organizers: report Cohen questioned for hours in Mueller probe about Trump's dealings with Russia: report 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."

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 Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe 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."