Published: Tue, November 27, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Mueller: Ex-Trump campaign chair lied, broke plea agreement

Mueller: Ex-Trump campaign chair lied, broke plea agreement

Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has breached his plea deal by lying to federal investigators, according to a court filing, in a potential setback to the special counsel's probe into Russia's meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election.

That means Manafort, who was previously accused of tampering with a witness, may not get any breaks on his sentence he might have received for cooperating with Mueller's probe, the special counsel said.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is accusing former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort of lying to federal investigators in the Russian Federation probe, in breach of his plea agreement.

He was already convicted in a separate jury trial on eight counts related to financial fraud in August, but those charges, as well as the counts covered in the plea deal, were unrelated to the campaign.

Manafort pleaded guilty to conspiracy and witness tampering on September 14, nearly a year after he was first charged and following his conviction by a jury in a separate but related case on eight tax and banking crimes. The accusation implies that Manafort has acted in violation of his plea agreement with the government in September which required him to "fully, truthfully, completely, and forthrightly" cooperate with the government's investigation.

"After signing the plea agreement", the filing read, "Manafort committed federal crimes by lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Special Counsel's Office on a variety of subject matters, which constitute breaches of the agreement".

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Deadlocked charges from the previous trial were to be dismissed if there was "successful co-operation" with the special counsel. "He believes he has provided truthful information and does not agree with the government's characterization or that he has breached the agreement".

"Given the conflict in the parties" positions, there is no reason to delay the sentencing herein, and he asks the Court to set a sentencing date in this matter, ' they said.

After an allegedly drunken Papadopoulos related the conversation to an Australian diplomat who passed the information on through intelligence channels, the FBI opened an investigation into contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

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

Even though Mueller's team alleges he's breached his plea agreement, Manafort must comply with the prosecutors' demands going forward.

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