Mueller says Manafort violated plea agreement by lying to investigators

Mueller says Manafort violated plea agreement by lying to investigators

Mueller: Ex-Trump campaign chair lied, broke plea agreement

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort lied repeatedly to the Federal Bureau of Investigation after making a plea agreement to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller, prosecutors charged Monday.

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 United States election and alleged coordination with the Trump campaign.

He was convicted by a jury in August on tax and bank fraud charges in the other case in Virginia.

Instead, he agreed to plead guilty to two charges of conspiracy, and to cooperate with federal investigators as they probe Russian interference in the 2016 election.

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ABC News reported earlier this month that tensions had been rising between Manafort and Mueller's team over Manafort's level of cooperation. "The government will file a detailed sentencing submission to the Probation Department and the Court in advance of sentencing that sets forth the nature of the defendant's crimes and lies".

Manafort's lawyers say they believe he provided truthful information.

Both the special counsel and Mr Manafort's legal representatives asked the court to set a date for sentencing. Prosecutors said Manafort's cooperation would include "interviews, briefings, producing documents, [and] testifying in other matters".

"A breach relieves the government of any obligations it has under the agreement, including its agreement to a reduction in the Sentencing Guidelines for acceptance of responsibility, but leaves intact all the obligations of the defendant as well as his guilty pleas", the filing reads.

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Manafort's plea agreement was supposed to cap his prison sentence to 10 years.

"The consequences are potentially devastating for Manafort", said Washington attorney Shanlon Wu, who represented Manafort's ex-business associate Rick Gates before he pleaded guilty and became a star witness for prosecutors.

Manafort, a longtime Republican political consultant ran the Trump campaign.

Rudy Giuliani, who represents Trump in the Russian Federation investigation, told Reuters in October that he had periodically spoken with Manafort's lawyer, Kevin Downing, and that he believed Manafort had not provided any information to prosecutors that was damaging to the president. "If you do the reporting, I think what you're starting to see is a belief that he is not only cornered, but that national security is in real danger because of the way he is acting", he said. Trump has not ruled out the prospect of a pardon for Manafort. That included his work on the Trump campaign as well as his Ukrainian political work, which remains under investigation by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of NY.

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