Court filing details stunning development in Mueller investigation

Paul Manafort

Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort lied repeatedly to authorities after striking a plea deal with prosecutors and pledging to cooperate, exposing him to a potentially lengthy prison term, U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller said.

The brief but remarkable development indicates that not only has the former Trump campaign chairman shared extensive information with Justice Department prosecutors since he began cooperating, but that prosecutors also believe they are able to verify or refute that information.

The special counsel's office says it will provide more details at a later date.

Manafort denies doing so, and both sides agree that sentencing should be set immediately.

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".

Manafort, however, according to the report, contested the claims of the special counsel.

Robert Mueller says Paul Manafort breached his plea agreement.

The timing of the Manafort status update is worth noting in its own right - seriously, it feels like it was only just yesterday that President Trump supplied written answers to Mueller's questions "regarding the Russia-related topics of the inquiry".




Russian Federation denies USA allegations it hacked Democratic Party emails and ran a disinformation campaign, largely on social media.

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.

One of Manafort's closest business contacts for several years has been Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russia-based political operative who prosecutors have alleged has ties to the same Russian military intelligence service that allegedly hacked the Democrats.

Manafort has been held in a detention centre in Virginia since June.

As part of his plea agreement, Manafort also agreed to forfeit five properties he owned in NY, including his apartment at Trump Tower and his sprawling estate in the Hamptons. Kilimnik, though also charged by Mueller, has not surfaced in the United States court system.

"A breach relieves the government of any obligations it has under the agreement, including its agreement to a reduction in the sentencing guidelines for acceptance of responsibility, but leaves intact all the obligations of the defendant as well as his guilty pleas", Mueller wrote.

Manafort was convicted on 8 counts in the Eastern District of Virginia and sentencing in that case is scheduled for early February.

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