The Slatest

Mueller Court Filing Says Manafort Has Violated Plea Deal by Lying “on a Variety of Subject Matters”

Paul Manafort speaks at a press conference at the Republican Convention in Cleveland, U.S., July 19, 2016.
Former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort can’t stop lying. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

Prosecutors for the special counsel have accused Paul Manafort of breaking his 10-week old plea agreement by lying to investigators, repeatedly on multiple occasions, which could open up the former Trump campaign chairman to new penalties including substantially increased jail time. In a court filing Monday, Robert Mueller’s team alleged that in the weeks after agreeing to a plea deal on September 14th—a day before Manafort was set to go on trial for a second time—the former Trump adviser has committed “federal crimes by lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Special Counsel’s Office on a variety of subject matters…”

The filing puts in jeopardy Manafort’s September agreement with prosecutors that had ensured the 69-year-old would face a maximum prison sentence of roughly 10 years for pleading guilty to two conspiracy counts. Whatever that sentence amounted to would be added to the sentence handed down for Manafort’s conviction by a Virginia jury in August on eight related counts of financial fraud. The plea deal for a reduced sentence was in return for an open-ended commitment to assist prosecutors “fully, truthfully, completely and forthrightly” about “any and all matters.”

In the court filing to Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, prosecutors asked, in light of the breach of the plea agreement, that the court proceed with sentencing Manafort. “A breach relieves the government of any obligations it has under the agreement, including its agreement to a reduction in the Sentencing Guidelines for acceptance of responsibility, but leaves intact all the obligations of the defendant as well as his guilty pleas,” the filing read. The special counsel’s office did not outline what Manafort had done to violate the plea agreement, but stated it “will file a detailed sentencing submission to the Probation Department and the Court in advance of sentencing…” Manfort’s legal team asserted that “[Manafort] believes he has provided truthful information and does not agree with the government’s characterization or that he has breached the agreement” and that “the Court to set a sentencing date in this matter.”