Mueller: Manafort Lied During My Investigation, Voiding His Cooperation Agreement

Mueller accuses Manafort of breaking plea agreement by lying

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.

"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", prosecutors wrote per The Washington Post.

Special counsel Robert Mueller claimed that Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign manager, lied to prosecutors after striking a plea deal, and requested that he be sentenced for his crimes.

In the status report, which was filed after the parties had asked for a delay in the previous deadline, Manafort denied that he had not been cooperative.

Manafort disputes that characterisation; his attorneys write in the joint filing that he "has provided information to the government in an effort to live up to his cooperation obligations".

Manafort, who worked for the Trump campaign for almost six months in the middle of 2016, agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy against the United States and another count of obstruction of justice in a deal to avert a second trial on money laundering and illegal lobbying charges. He remains jailed while awaiting his sentence.

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Based in London, he made contacts with what he believed were important Russian and Russia-linked officials, who through him offered the Trump campaign a meeting between candidate Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

By breaching his plea agreement, Manafort will lose the benefit of prosecutors recommending that he receive leniency at his sentencing.

Prosecutors did not provide details of the alleged lies but said they would do so prior to sentencing. The president's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, entered into a plea deal with Mueller, while Trump's longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, has been providing information to Mueller's team and federal prosecutors in NY, among others, a person familiar with the matter has said.

In August he was convicted on eight counts of fraud, bank fraud and failing to disclose bank accounts.

As part of his plea agreement, Manafort pledged to "co-operate fully, truthfully, completely, and forthrightly" with the government "in any and all matters" prosecutors deemed necessary.

Manafort is largely seen as the central figure when it comes to getting to the bottom of the collusion question, given his Ukrainian lobbying connections, his time as Trump's campaign chairman, and his presence during key moments of interest for the special counsel. He faces multiple years in prison. Sentencing in that case is scheduled for February 8.

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