Trump Claims Mueller Is ‘Ruining Lives’ After Manafort Accused of Lying
- Author: Rogelio Becker Nov 30, 2018,
Nov 30, 2018, 1:09
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort broke his plea agreement with USA federal prosecutors by lying to investigators, special counsel Robert Mueller's office alleged late Monday. Manafort's legal team will have to convince Judge Berman Jackson that Manafort offered an honest effort to comply with Mueller's team just to get a sentence within the original deal's parameters, which is now their best-case scenario.
The Special Counsel's office has said that it would provide more details at a later date.
In September, questioning of potential jurors had started in the D.C. Circuit for Manafort's next trial on seven counts of conspiracy, witness tampering and lobbying violations in respect to working on behalf of a foreign government when he agreed to a deal to avert the second trial.
Giuliani, who said he regularly talks to Manafort lawyer Kevin Downing, said Manafort told prosecutors "at least 10 times that he has no information on wrongdoing by the president".
The apparent breakdown of Manafort's plea deal, disclosed in a court filing late on November 26, puts him in jeopardy of facing a lengthier jail sentence and more criminal charges from Mueller, while apparently eliminating any possibility that he might appear as a top-level witness for the prosecution.
Manafort put up a stiff fight in court until federal jurors in Virginia found him guilty of financial crimes.
Mueller has meticulously pursued cases in which Trump associates have lied to investigators, often using such charges as leverage to persuade them to cooperate with prosecutors.
Without a pardon, Manafort could spend the rest of his life in prison, experts said. "This has absolutely nothing to do - this is a witch hunt, and it's a disgrace", Trump told reporters in August. "He believes he has provided truthful information and does not agree with the government's characterization or that he has breached the agreement".
The news of Manafort's lack of cooperation came in the form of a court filing by federal prosecutors on Monday.
Lawyers involved in the investigation have raised the prospect that Papadopoulos, Manafort and others who have been charged ultimately could receive presidential pardons.
President Donald Trump launched a fierce new attack Tuesday against Russian Federation collusion investigator Robert Mueller, pumping up the political tensions as the probe increasingly menaces the White House.
But with prosecutors now saying he breached the agreement, Manafort faces serious consequences such as the possibility of facing additional criminal charges, including those prosecutors dropped when he signed the plea deal.
While not listing the specifics, the filing said it was on "a variety of matters".
Russian Federation denies US allegations it hacked Democratic Party emails and ran a disinformation campaign. Kilimnik, though also charged by Mueller, has not surfaced in the USA court system.
Rudy Giuliani, who represents Trump in the Russian Federation investigation, told Reuters in October that he had periodically spoken with Manafort's lawyer, Kevin Downing, and that he believed Manafort had not provided any information to prosecutors that was damaging to the president. Now there's this. He could face much stiffer prison time because of his alleged lies to the special counsel and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.