Published: Fri, November 30, 2018
World News | By Sandy Lane

Ex-Trump aide Manafort violated plea agreement by lying, prosecutors say

Ex-Trump aide Manafort violated plea agreement by lying, prosecutors say

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort violated his plea deal by lying to investigators after the agreement was struck, according to a new court filing today from special counsel Robert Mueller's team.

The Special Counsel's status report Monday said Manafort lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Mueller's office "on a variety of subject matters".

Both sides have asked to now move his case toward sentencing.

He also said that Manafort's plea agreement is "very, very complicated" because Mueller's team had Manafort plead guilty to state crimes in New Jersey, New York and California, in addition to federal crimes.

Donald Trump
Paul Manafort was US president Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman

The apparent breakdown of Manafort's plea deal, disclosed in a court filing late on November 26, puts him in jeopardy of facing a lengthier jail sentence and more criminal charges from Mueller, while apparently eliminating any possibility that he might appear as a top-level witness for the prosecution.

In August, Manafort was convicted in federal court in Virginia of bank fraud and tax evasion related to his work as a political consultant in Ukraine.

Mueller also noted that the guilty pleas stand as a result, while an agreement by prosecutors to a reduced sentence based on cooperation was no longer required.

Special Counsel prosecutors are accusing Paul Manafort of violating the terms of his plea agreement. The white house has continued to highlight the fact that the indictment has nothing to do with Trump himself.

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He made the plea deal to head off a second trial after being convicted last summer on eight felony counts related to millions of dollars he hid from US tax authorities in offshore bank accounts. That was when he began cooperating with Mueller and his team.

In morning tweets, Trump employed some of his harshest language to date in a continuing attempt to discredit Mueller as he probes possible coordination between Russian Federation and Trump's 2016 campaign and whether Trump has obstructed the investigation.

The filing was an astonishing break from the bare-bones updates given by the special counsel's office in other cases where cooperators continue to help Mueller pursue Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and alleged coordination with the Trump campaign.

After at least a dozen sessions interrogating him, the special counsel's prosecutors have decided that Manafort does not deserve leniency.

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For months, the special counsel has been scrutinizing Stone's activities to determine whether he coordinated with WikiLeaks or its founder, Julian Assange, in the release of hacked Democratic emails during the campaign.

"Look, I think that the president has had Bob Mueller doing his job for the last two years and he could have taken action at any point and he hasn't so we'll let that speak for itself", Sanders said. In Manafort's plea deal, the government agreed to advocate for a lower sentence if they thought he provided "substantial assistance in the form of truthful information".

While Manafort's attorneys claim that he has not actually lied to investigators, the government says otherwise, and ultimately it is the government's opinion that matters in his upcoming sentencing hearing. He also faces an additional 10 years in the Virginia case.

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