Mueller: Manafort has lied to Federal Bureau of Investigation, special counsel's office since plea deal

Mueller: Manafort has lied to Federal Bureau of Investigation, special counsel's office since plea deal

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 filing also said that Manafort disagrees with the finding that he lied to federal authorities.

The torpedoing of Manafort's plea deal, disclosed in a court filing Monday, also results in special counsel Robert Mueller's team losing a co-operating witness from the top of Donald Trump's presidential campaign who was present for several key episodes under investigation.

In August, a federal jury in Alexandria, Virginia, convicted Manafort of bank and tax fraud.

He pled guilty to two counts of conspiracy - allegations that Manafort lied to the Department of Justice about his work for a foreign government and that he obstructed justice by attempting to influence potential witnesses in the case.

Manafort's legal team said he has "provided information to the government in an effort to live up to his cooperation obligations".

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.

The move signals a return to the acrimonious relationship Manafort has had with the special counsel's office since his indictment a year ago.

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. Still, both sides now agree they can't resolve the conflict, and U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson should set a date to sentence him.

But in plea papers, Manafort agreed to cooperate "fully and truthfully" with the investigation conducted by the office of special counsel, including participating in interviews and debriefings, producing any documents in his control, testifying, and agreeing to delay sentencing until a time set by the government.

Mr Trump denies any campaign collusion and calls the investigation a political witch hunt.

At the very least it seems unlikely that prosecutors will request a lighter sentence in response to Mr Manafort's cooperation.

He attended a meeting at Trump Tower in June 2016 with a group of Russians offering damaging information on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, who lost in an upset to Trump in the presidential vote that November.

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