Ex-Trump aide Manafort violated plea agreement by lying, prosecutors say
27 November, 2018, 08:25 | Author: Angel Logan
WASHINGTON-The special counsel in the Russian Federation investigation is accusing former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort of violating his plea agreement by repeatedly lying to federal investigators, an extraordinary allegation that could expose him to a lengthier prison sentence - and potentially more criminal charges.
The plea deal Manafort agreed to would allow him to serve only 10 years of the possible 80 he was facing, as well as negate the need for a second trial.
Mr Mueller said Mr 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".
"As the defendant has breached the plea agreement, there is no reason to delay his sentencing".
Mr Manafort said in the same filing he disagreed with Mr Mueller's claim that he lied to investigators.
Manafort, 69, was convicted on multiple counts of financial fraud over the summer in connection to work he completed in Ukraine as a political consultant.
A month later he pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy against the United States and one charge of conspiracy to obstruct justice in the plea bargain with Mr Mueller. It indicates that not only did Manafort speak extensively with the Justice Department prosecutors for their investigation, but they also believe they were able to verify or refute information he gave them.
It's a dire turn for Manafort, who was accused of witness tampering, pleaded guilty to a range of charges laid by Mueller and finally agreed to cooperate to avert the possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison. Prosecutors said Gates, who also pleaded guilty, is cooperating in "several ongoing investigations".
The special counsel's office says it will provide more details at a later date.
"He believes he has provided truthful information and does not agree with the government's characterisation or that he has breached the agreement", his lawyers said. 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.
How did we get here?
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. In September and October, he met with Mueller's team at least nine times, amounting to hours of discussions.
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