Manafort lied after pleading guilty, Mueller's team says

Mueller says Manafort violated plea agreement by lying to investigators

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.

The brief but remarkable development indicates that not only has the former Trump campaign chairman shared extensive information with Justice Department prosecutors since he began cooperating, but that prosecutors also believe they are able to verify or refute that information. Monday's filing in Washington federal court was eagerly anticipated after the sides sought a 10-day extension to report on Manafort's cooperation - a tight window that led some observers to speculate that Manafort had delivered information that could lead to charges against others in Trump's circle.

Through his attorneys, Manafort denied lying, saying he "believes he provided truthful information" during a series of sessions with Mueller's investigators.

The breakdown in the plea deal raises the prospect that Manafort is seeking to protect others who worked on Trump's campaign and to curry favour with the president, said former federal prosecutor David Weinstein. It'll be up to U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson to decide whether that's the case, after taking into consideration Manafort's claim that in many meetings with the government, he didn't lie.

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Both the special counsel and Manafort's attorneys agreed there was no reason to delay his sentencing and asked the court to set a date for that.

Mueller said in the filing that 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".

Manafort, a longtime Republican political consultant ran the Trump campaign.

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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. Except for one aspect of their bank fraud case, in which Manafort appeared to dangle access to the Trump campaign in exchange for a bank loan, the cases did not publicly describe Manafort's work as campaign chairman.

When he was last seen in public, in a Virginia federal courtroom about a month ago, Manafort was in a wheelchair and suffering from a health issue similar to gout. Sentencing in that case is scheduled for February 8.

Manafort already faces up to five years in prison on the two charges in his plea agreement. He met with the government on numerous occasions and answered the government's questions, his lawyers said in Monday's filing.

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