Mueller Claims Manafort Violated Plea Deal by Lying to Investigators
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort lied to the FBI and federal prosecutors in violation of a plea agreement he reached in September, the special counsel’s office claimed in a court filing on Monday.
Prosecutors said that after Manafort entered a plea agreement on Sept. 14, he “committed federal crimes by lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Special Counsel’s Office on a variety of subject matters, which constitute breaches of the agreement.”
Manafort, 69, entered the plea deal a day before he was set to go to trial in Washington, D.C. on charges related to his lobbying work for the Ukraine government through 2014. Manafort had already been convicted in Virginia on Aug. 21 on tax fraud and bank fraud charges related to his Ukraine work.
Manafort has reportedly met numerous times with the special counsel’s office, which is investigating whether anyone on the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government to influence the 2016 election.
The three-page court filing does not reveal what Manafort allegedly lied about, though prosecutors said they will file a detailed report laying out Manafort’s alleged “crimes and lies, including those after signing the plea agreement herein.”
Manafort’s lawyers disputed the government’s claim, but said that there was no reason to delay sentencing in the case.
“Manafort has provided information to the government in an effort to live up to his cooperation obligations,” Kevin Downing wrote.
“He believes he has provided truthful information and does not agree with the government’s characterization or that he has breached the agreement.”
Manafort faces up to 10 years in prison for his conviction in federal court in Virginia. It is not yet clear whether he will now go to trial in the Washington, D.C. case.
There have been some indications that Manafort’s cooperation with Mueller’s team was not proceeding smoothly.
On Nov. 9, ABC News reported that Mueller’s team was “not getting what they want” from Manafort.
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