Published: Tue, November 27, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Mueller: Manafort Has Lied To Investigators Since Plea Deal

Mueller: Manafort Has Lied To Investigators Since Plea Deal

Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has breached his plea deal by lying to federal investigators, according to a court filing, in a potential setback to the special counsel's probe into Russia's meddling in the 2016 United States presidential election.

Manafort is denying that he lied.

The filing was an astonishing break from the bare-bones updates given by the special counsel's office in other cases where cooperators continue to help Mueller pursue Russian interference in the 2016 USA election and alleged coordination with the Trump campaign.

He pleaded guilty in October 2017 and pledged to cooperate with the Mueller probe, and was later sentenced after expressing his remorse that he "lied in an investigation that was important to national security".

It also means that Mueller's team is losing a cooperating witness from the top of Donald Trump's presidential campaign who was present for several key episodes under investigation.

"Given the conflict in the parties" positions, there is no reason to delay the sentencing herein, and he asks the Court to set a sentencing date in this matter, ' they said.

"He believes he has provided truthful information and does not agree with the government's characterization or that he has breached the agreement", it says.

As part of his plea deal, Manafort admitted to committing a host of money laundering and foreign lobbying crimes and fraud, giving the federal prosecutors ample leverage over him.

"After signing the plea agreement, Manafort 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", the filing reads.

Manafort already faces up to five years in prison on the two charges in his plea agreement.

The charges only relate to Manafort's political consulting with pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine, largely pre-dating his role with the Trump campaign.

Manafort, though he has not made public statements since his plea, was thought to be the star cooperator in the special counsel's ongoing probe.

Manafort, who has remained in jail throughout this, has met with prosecutors at least nine times but Monday's filing indicates that - despite those hours with him - investigators may not have been able to garner any information they could verify. He attended a meeting at Trump Tower in June 2016 with a group of Russians offering "dirt" on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, who lost in an upset to Trump in the presidential vote that November.

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