Paul Manafort Breached Plea Deal by Lying to Mueller’s Team, Prosecutors Say

Paul Manafort

Prosecutors from special counsel Robert Mueller's office said Monday that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort violated his plea agreement with the government by lying to federal investigators "on a variety of subject matters".

Mueller's team did not spell out what Manafort lied about.

Robert Mueller says Paul Manafort breached his plea agreement. A jury in Virginia convicted Manafort in the case Mueller brought against him there, where the charges focused on bank fraud and tax fraud allegations that mostly predated the 2016 campaign.

Manafort had started cooperating with Mueller's prosecutors in September this year after pleading guilty to conspiracy against the United States - a charge that including a range of conduct from money laundering to unregistered lobbying, and to attempting to tamper with witnesses. Earlier this month, there were mounting tensions between Mueller and Manafort over Manafort's apparent lack of cooperation with the investigation, multiple sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.

Deadlocked charges from the previous trial were to be dismissed if there was "successful co-operation" with the special counsel.

Manafort disputes that characterisation; his attorneys write in the joint filing that he "has provided information to the government in an effort to live up to his cooperation obligations".

More news: Pakistan summons United States envoy to protest Trump's criticism

But in a court filing on Monday, Mr Mueller said that after signing the deal "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 denies doing so, and both sides agree that sentencing should be set immediately.

Mr Trump denies any campaign collusion and calls the investigation a political witch hunt.

Manafort, 69, now faces a stiff prison sentence as the result of his August conviction in Virginia and for his guilty plea in a separate Washington, DC, case where he pledged to help prosecutors. He had been in the room for the Trump Tower meeting with Russians who touted they had incriminating information about Hillary Clinton; he had allegedly offered private briefings on the campaign to a Russian oligarch to whom he was indebted, according to The Washington Post; and he had overseen the Trump campaign in the months when Russian military intelligence allegedly hacked Democratic Party officials.

The agreement pertains to one of two cases against Manafort.

It was the first criminal trial arising from the justice department's investigation into alleged interference by Russian Federation in the 2016 election.

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