Manafort lied after guilty plea, Mueller says, and should be sentenced immediately

27 November, 2018, 08:26 | Author: Rachel Logan
  • Mueller says Manafort violated plea agreement by lying to investigators

Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort violated his plea agreement by lying to investigators, prosecutors said Monday (Nov 26), as another former aide began serving a jail sentence for making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The FBI claims that lobbyist and political consultant Paul Manafort lied to the government "on a variety of subject matters".

Mueller and Manafort had come to the plea agreement in October, just before the case against the former Trump campaign chairman in D.C. was about to go to trial.

Manafort was convicted on eight out of 18 counts of financial crimes including bank fraud and tax fraud in federal court in Virginia in August.

Manafort had been meeting with the special counsel's office since he pleaded guilty in September and agreed to cooperate.

Before the plea, Manafort's defenders had long insisted that he would not cooperate with Mueller and that he does not have information that would incriminate the president.

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.

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As prosecutors accused Manafort of lying, George Papadopoulos - the former Trump campaign aide whose Russian Federation contacts set off the collusion investigation - entered a minimum security unit to start serving out his two-week jail sentence at the Oxford, Wisconsin federal prison.

The special counsel's office says it will provide more details at a later date.

"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", Mueller wrote.

Manafort's attorneys said in the same filing submitted to U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington that Manafort had met with the government on several occasions and provided information "in an effort to live up to his cooperation obligations".

Manafort lied "on a variety of subject matters", violating his plea agreement, prosecutors said in a three-page filing signed by both the defense team and prosecution.

President Donald Trump has denied he knew about the meeting ahead of time and repeatedly called Mueller's investigation a 'witch hunt'. Except for one aspect of their bank fraud case, in which Manafort appeared to dangle access to the Trump campaign in exchange for a bank loan, the cases did not publicly describe Manafort's work as campaign chairman.

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