Manafort violated plea deal, lied to investigators, prosecutors say


There are so many takeaways from special counsel Robert Mueller's allegation that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has lied time and again to FBI investigators, even after Manafort reached a plea agreement that clearly stipulated what cooperation would entail.

As part of his plea deal, Manafort admitted to committing a host of money laundering and foreign lobbying crimes and fraud, giving the federal prosecutors leverage over him.

Manafort's attorneys said in the same filing submitted to U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington that Manafort had met with the government on several occasions and provided information "in an effort to live up to his cooperation obligations".

Manafort, 69, worked for the Trump presidential campaign for five months in 2016 and was in charge when Mr Trump clinched the Republican party nomination. Mueller's joint statement indicates that new sentencing dates are to be set "without delay", despite Manafort's claim that he has been telling the truth.

In the plea deal, Manafort plead guilty to conspiracy against the US and obstruction of justice, related to allegations of witness tampering.

Robert Mueller says Paul Manafort breached his plea agreement. The cases that Mueller's team brought against Manafort largely focused on his Ukrainian political consulting work, his U.S. lobbying over the last decade and the financial management of his business proceeds.

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In the latest filing, Mueller's team said Manafort "committed federal crimes" by lying about "a variety of subject matters" even after he agreed to truthfully co-operate with the investigation. Except for one aspect of their bank fraud case, in which Manafort appeared to dangle access to the Trump campaign in exchange for a bank loan, the cases did not publicly describe Manafort's work as campaign chairman.

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

They ask "in light of recent developments" the court 'schedule sentencing in this matter'.

Manafort is largely seen as the central figure when it comes to getting to the bottom of the collusion question, given his Ukrainian lobbying connections, his time as Trump's campaign chairman, and his presence during key moments of interest for the special counsel.