Manafort lied after pleading guilty, Mueller's team says

27 November, 2018, 08:24 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • Breaking Court filing details stunning development in Mueller investigation

In the same submission Mr Manafort denied the claim by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating whether any collaboration occurred between the Trump campaign and Russian state during the 2016 Presidential election.

Before Thanksgiving, Mueller said in a filing that there should be a "brief extension of the status report date, until November 26, 2018", which is today.

Mueller and Manafort had come to the plea agreement in October, just before the case against the former Trump campaign chairman in D.C. was about to go to trial.

Manafort pleaded guilty to conspiracy and witness tampering on September 14, nearly a year after he was first charged and following his conviction by a jury in a separate but related case on eight tax and banking crimes. Earlier this month, there were mounting tensions between Mueller and Manafort over Manafort's apparent lack of cooperation with the investigation, multiple sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.

Manafort, though he has not made public statements since his plea, was thought to be the star cooperator in the special counsel's ongoing probe.

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He is also the author of a widely acclaimed biography of Alexander Hamilton, which inspired the hit Broadway musical "Hamilton". Meanwhile, Wolf made a decision to tweet back at Trump-who has criticized the comedian in the past for her WHCA jokes.

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".

"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.

It also means that Mueller's team is losing a cooperating witness from the top of Donald Trump's presidential campaign who was present for several key episodes under investigation. The president's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, entered into a plea deal with Mueller, while Trump's longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, has been providing information to Mueller's team and federal prosecutors in NY, among others, a person familiar with the matter has said. Trump denies any campaign collusion and calls the investigation a political witch hunt.

Manafort, who has remained in jail throughout this, has met with prosecutors at least nine times but Monday's filing indicates that - despite those hours with him - investigators may not have been able to garner any information they could verify. 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.

Manafort, 69, now faces a stiff prison sentence as the result of his August conviction in Virginia and for his guilty plea in a separate Washington, DC, case where he pledged to help prosecutors.

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