Manafort lied after pleading guilty, Mueller's team says

Paul Manafort

CREDIT Shawn Thew EPA-EFE Shutterstock

The office of special counsel Robert Mueller claims that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort lied to investigators, and violated his plea agreement.

Instead, the filing suggests that the sides have been wrangling over whether Manafort was fulfilling his cooperation duties - with Mueller ultimately concluding he wasn't.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is probing Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign, said in the filing that Mr Manafort lied to investigators in a series of interviews after signing a plea agreement.

He was already convicted in a separate jury trial on eight counts related to financial fraud in August, but those charges, as well as the counts covered in the plea deal, were unrelated to the campaign.

Since September this year when he took a plea deal in return for reduced charges, Mr Manafort has been cooperating with Mr Mueller's inquiry.

"It's bad for the overall Mueller investigation", said Patrick Cotter, a criminal defence lawyer in Chicago and former assistant United States lawyer in NY.

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.

Arsenal must improve 'everything' for top-four Premier League finish - Unai Emery
Ozil was only named on the bench as Henrikh Mkhitaryan started alongside Alex Iwobi in support of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Danny Welbeck picked up a serious injury in the last European contest and is out for a lengthy period of time.

"He believes he has provided truthful information and does not agree with the government's characterization or that he has breached the agreement", Manafort's lawyers said in the same filing.

"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.

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.

Under an agreement with prosecutors, Manafort faces a maximum prison sentence of about 10 years, not counting a sentence for his August conviction in Virginia for bank and tax fraud.

Both Mueller and Manafort asked the judge to proceed with sentencing of Manafort without delay.

The president had defended Manafort in various tweets expressing anger at the special counsel investigation, which he has called a "witch hunt" numerous times.

That gathering at Trump Tower had become a central focus of Mueller's look into what role Russian played in the 2016 presidential election.

Latest News