Mueller says Manafort violated his plea deal by lying to investigators

Paul Manafort

Breaking News: Robert Mueller says former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort violated his plea deal by lying to investigators.

Federal investigators wrote in a court filing [which you can read here in PDF] that Manafort’s “crimes and lies” during a series of interviews with prosecutors working for FBI and special counsel Robert Mueller relieve them of all promises they made to Manafort in the plea agreement.

Lying to the feds is never wise.

Neither is associating with Donald Trump.

From the New York Times:

Defense lawyers disagreed. Mr. Manafort has been truthful with the special counsel’s office and has abided by the agreement, they argued in the same status report to Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Given the impasse between the two sides, Mr. Manafort asked that Judge Jackson set a sentencing date.

The dramatic development in the 11th hour of Mr. Manafort’s case means, at a minimum, that prosecutors will not ask for a lighter punishment in return for his cooperation. They could also conceivably seek to refile bank fraud charges that they agreed to dismiss as part of the plea agreement.

The prosecutors did not describe what Mr. Manafort lied about, promising to file a sentencing memo that sets forth “the nature of the defendant’s crimes and lies.”

A jury in Northern Virginia convicted Mr. Manafort, 69, of eight counts of financial fraud in August stemming from his work as a political consultant in Ukraine. Faced with a second trial in the District of Columbia on related charges in September, he pleaded guilty to two conspiracy counts and to an open-ended arrangement requiring him to answer “fully, truthfully, completely and forthrightly” questions about “any and all matters” of interest to the government.

Manafort faces a prison term of at least 10 years for his crimes.

He is scheduled to be sentenced in the Northern Virginia case in February, 2019.

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