Paul Manafort: Robert Mueller team details accusations of lies to void plea deal – media
Special counsel Robert Mueller's team filed nearly 200 pages of heavily redacted documents in federal court to document charges that Paul Manafort lied repeatedly to investigators despite his plea agreement to cooperate with them.
Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy and obstruction of justice. But Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, voided the plea agreement in November because of what he called repeated lying by Manafort, USA Today wrote.
In a filing Jan. 7, Manafort's lawyers insisted he tried to cooperate as agreed.
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson scheduled a hearing Jan. 25 to discuss the dispute.
Mueller's team submitted a 31-page statement from FBI Agent Jeffrey Weiland, who helped interview Manafort, and an exhibit with 157 pages, which were released Tuesday.
Each of the documents was heavily redacted. But the gist was that federal authorities maintained that Manafort lied.
"Based on the above factual circumstances, among others (including my assessment of Manafort's demeanor), it is my belief that Manafort made false and misleading statements in breach of the plea agreement with the government," Weiland said in the filing.
Manafort met with prosecutors and FBI agents on 12 occasions, including three before entering the plea agreement. He also testified at a grand jury on Oct. 26 and Nov. 2. Prosecutors informed Manafort's lawyers Nov. 8 that they "believed that Manafort had lied in multiple ways and on multiple occasions."
Manafort was Trump's campaign manager from March until August 2016, during a crucial part of the campaign when Trump secured the Republican nomination and the GOP held its convention in Cleveland. He was a key figure in the Mueller probe because he had a history of dealing with Russians and attended the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower during which the attendees were to discuss information promised to damage Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
The disputes with Manafort covered interactions with Russian business partner Konstantin Kilimnik, who is also under indictment for work with Manafort in Ukraine and has denied links to the Russian intelligence service; a $125,000 wire transfer; and Manafort's contacts with senior Trump administration officials, according to their 10-page filing.
Manafort acknowledged that he hadn't initially remembered meetings or communications with Kilimnik. For example, Manafort recalled meeting Kilimnik in Madrid only after being told Kilimnik was there at the same time.
Manafort's lawyers said Mueller alleged he "lied about sharing polling data with Mr. Kilimnik related to the 2016 presidential campaign," according to the filing. His lawyers said it wasn't surprising Manafort didn't remember sharing polling data because he was busy with the campaign.
Trump has denied knowing that Manafort shared polling data. Trump has repeatedly called the Mueller probe a "witch hunt" and said his campaign didn't collude with Russia.
Manafort is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 8 after a Virginia jury convicted Manafort of eight bank and tax fraud charges in August related to what prosecutors described as a multiyear scheme carried out while working as a consultant to a pro-Russia faction in Ukraine.
The plea dispute in D.C. stemmed from an agreement in September, when he pleaded guilty to conspiracy and obstruction of justice. Sentencing in that case is scheduled March 5.