Mueller accuses Manafort of breaking plea agreement by lying

Mueller accuses Manafort of breaking plea agreement by lying

The office of special counsel Robert Mueller said President Donald Trump's former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, lied to investigators, which was a breech of his cooperation agreement.

Manafort's defense team said in response: "He believes he has provided truthful information" and tried to 'live up to his cooperation obligations'.

The charges stemmed from political work Manafort had done for the government of Ukraine prior to his accepting the position as campaign manager for then-candidate Donald Trump.

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.

Both the special counsel and Mr Manafort's legal representatives asked the court to set a date for sentencing.

Manafort, a longtime Republican political consultant ran the Trump campaign.

Mueller, who is also probing possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign, said in the filing that after signing a 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".

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.

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Manafort had started cooperating with Mueller in September after pleading guilty in a federal court in Washington to conspiracy against the United States - a charge that included a range of conduct from money laundering to unregistered lobbying - and attempting to tamper with witnesses.

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.

For more than a year now, Manafort has been at the heart of several unresolved threads of the Mueller investigation.

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Prosecutors did not elaborate on areas where they contend that Manafort lied.

As part of the plea deal, Manafort agreed to provide information on a "broad" array of topics in the hopes of getting a lighter sentence in his August conviction in Virginia on bank and tax fraud. Kilimnik, though also charged by Mueller, has not surfaced in the U.S. court system.

Manafort was convicted on 8 counts in the Eastern District of Virginia and sentencing in that case is scheduled for early February. It's not clear how Monday's development might affect his situation there.

He faces multiple years in prison. "Manafort met with the government on numerous occasions and answered the government's questions".

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