Mueller: Manafort has lied to Federal Bureau of Investigation, special counsel's office since plea deal

Mueller: Manafort has lied to Federal Bureau of Investigation, special counsel's office since plea deal

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.

The latest development could indicate a set back for Mueller's investigation if Manafort had not been cooperating.

Mueller revealed the charge in a court filing Monday that indicated Manafort has violated the plea deal he made in the investigation by lying numerous times to the FBI.

"He believes he has provided truthful information and does not agree with the government's characterisation or that he has breached the agreement", his lawyers said.

The conventional wisdom among legal experts seems to be that Manafort did not care about telling the truth because he's going all in on President Donald Trump pardoning him. But special counsel prosecutors were "not getting what they want", one source with knowledge of the discussions said.

The intervention means Mr Manafort could potentially face bank fraud charges, which were dismissed as part of the plea bargain.

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.

"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", prosecutors wrote. The cases that Mueller's team brought against Manafort largely focused on his Ukrainian political consulting work, his USA lobbying over the last decade and the financial management of his business proceeds.

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

In the plea deal, Manafort plead guilty to conspiracy against the USA and obstruction of justice, related to allegations of witness tampering.

They did not elaborate on what Manafort lied about.

As part of his plea agreement, Manafort pledged to "co-operate fully, truthfully, completely, and forthrightly" with the government "in any and all matters" prosecutors deemed necessary.

Manafort has been held in a Virginia jail since June, after he and Kilimnik were accused of attempting to tamper with possible witnesses before his trial. That included his work on the Trump campaign as well as his Ukrainian political work, which remains under investigation by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of NY. He'll be sentenced in February in his criminal case in Virginia, which he took to trial and lost.

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