Special Counsel Accuses Manafort of Breaking Plea Deal, Calls for Sentencing

The office of special counsel Robert Mueller III accused former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort of breaching his plea agreement with special counsel prosecutors, writing in a Monday court filing that he committed federal crimes by lying to federal investigators.

Both sides ask the judge to now move his case toward sentencing. He faces multiple years in prison. He had been in the room for the Trump Tower meeting with Russians who touted they had incriminating information about Hillary Clinton; he had allegedly offered private briefings on the campaign to a Russian oligarch to whom he was indebted, according to The Washington Post; and he had overseen the Trump campaign in the months when Russian military intelligence allegedly hacked Democratic Party officials.

Manafort, though he has not made public statements since then, was thought to be the star cooperator in the special counsel's ongoing probe into Russian interference in the 2016 USA presidential election and possible coordination with the Trump campaign.

"It's bad for the overall Mueller investigation", said Patrick Cotter, a criminal defense lawyer in Chicago and former assistant USA attorney in NY.

The news of Manafort's lack of cooperation came in the form of a court filing by federal prosecutors on Monday. 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.

What Manafort lied about was not disclosed. He also admitted that he tried to tamper with witnesses.

But Mueller's office says Manafort broke his promise and also broke federal law with "crimes and lies".

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Prosecutors said they will file a report that "sets forth the nature of the defendant's crimes and lies".

"Heroes will come of this, and it won't be Mueller and his bad Gang of Angry Democrats". He was previously convicted on bank and tax fraud charges following a late summer trial in Alexandria, Virginia.

Trump has been vocal in his support for Manafort, lauding him as a "very good person" during the Virginia trial. In September and October, he met with Mueller's team at least nine times, amounting to hours of discussions.

That was his question to the outlet's legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, a former federal prosecutor who was stunned by claims of Manafort fibbing.

Manafort is represented by Kevin Downing, Thomas Zehnle, and Richard Westling.

The plea agreement, which Manafort signed two months ago, stipulated that he would be in violation of the agreement if he were to "engage in any criminal activity prior to sentencing" or failed to "fulfill completely "each and every one" of his obligations".

  • Sonia Alvarado