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

Breaking Court filing details stunning development in Mueller investigation

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.

While the Manafort document detailing lies won't be an "indictment", it is nonetheless an opportunity for Mueller to put together an extensive narrative that will become a part of public record.

"After signing the plea agreement, 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", Mueller's office stated. "He believes he has provided truthful information and does not agree with the government's characterization or that he has breached the agreement".

Both the special counsel and Mr Manafort's legal representatives asked the court to set a date for sentencing.

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.

The former Trump campaign manager knew about the infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting attended by Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Manafort himself and a lawyer with ties to the Kremlin who claimed to have dirt on Trump's presidential rival Hillary Clinton.

One way of looking at the Manafort news is that it presents a major opportunity for the special counsel to speak on a number of aspects of the investigation through a court filing - something that Mueller has already been doing.

The plea deal Manafort agreed to would allow him to serve only 10 years of the possible 80 he was facing, as well as negate the need for a second trial.

Manafort, who remains jailed, had been meeting with the special counsel's office since he pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

"The consequences are potentially devastating for Manafort", said Washington attorney Shanlon Wu, who represented Manafort's ex-business associate Rick Gates before he pleaded guilty and became a star witness for prosecutors. "If you do the reporting, I think what you're starting to see is a belief that he is not only cornered, but that national security is in real danger because of the way he is acting", he said.

Russian Federation denies USA allegations it hacked Democratic Party emails and ran a disinformation campaign, largely on social media.

The charges only relate to Manafort's political consulting with pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine, largely pre-dating his role with the Trump campaign.

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