Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office "on a variety of subject matters" since his plea deal earlier this year, thereby violating the agreement, Mueller said in a court filing submitted Monday night, while adding that Manafort claims he's been truthful. The pardon hope may very well be what Manafort's driving at and it could occur, but we also have to ask what all of this does for Mueller. Prosecutors say in a new court filing that after Manafort agreed to truthfully co-operate with the investigation, he â€œcommitted federal crimesâ€ by lying about â€œa variety of subject matters.
Manafort disputes that characterisation; his attorneys write in the joint filing that he "has provided information to the government in an effort to live up to his cooperation obligations".
Based in London, he made contacts with what he believed were important Russian and Russia-linked officials, who through him offered the Trump campaign a meeting between candidate Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The apparent collapse of Manafort's cooperation agreement is the latest stunning turnaround in his case, exposing the longtime Republican consultant to more than a decade behind bars after pleading guilty in September on charges of cheating the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), violating foreign lobbying laws and attempting to obstruct justice.
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. 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.
It did not give details of what Manafort allegedly lied about.
He has been held in a Virginia jail since June. He'll be sentenced in February in his criminal case in Virginia, which he took to trial and lost. It's not clear how Monday's development might affect his situation there.
Because of this reported breach, Mueller is prepared to move on to the sentencing phase of the case against Manafort, who has been found guilty on multiple financial crimes and pleaded guilty to others, which involve his work for a Ukrainian politician with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. "Manafort met with the government on numerous occasions and answered the government's questions".
The judge in DC District Court who received the update Monday night has not yet weighed in, and a sentencing for Manafort's guilty plea has not yet been scheduled.