Business Standard

Trump ex-aide Manafort lied to prosecutors: Judge

IANS  |  Washington 

US Donald Trump's former election campaign breached his plea deal with by "intentionally" lying to prosecutors in the probe, a has ruled.

Manafort "made multiple false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the grand jury concerning matters that were material to the investigation", including his contacts with his Russian associate during the 2016 presidential campaign and later, wrote on Wednesday.

Mueller is leading a probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 US election.

The judge's finding about Manafort, 69, can add years to his prison sentence and came after a set of sealed court hearings, reported. He was convicted of various financial crimes in August relating to his work as a in

A month later, Manafort pleaded guilty on September 14 to conspiring to defraud the US, violate lobbying laws and obstruct justice - by witness tampering - in connection with years of undisclosed work in for a pro-Russian political party and former Ukrainian

He then cut a deal to plead guilty to two charges of conspiracy and witness tampering in return for co-operating with Mueller's investigation.

In all, Jackson on Wednesday determined Manafort intentionally lied about $125,000 he received for the legal bills, about another unnamed Justice Department criminal investigation and about his interactions with his longtime Russian associate while he was campaign and later.

Jackson said that two of the topics Manafort lied about, Kilimnik and payments he received for his legal bills were "material to the investigation".

Manafort's actions mean Mueller's office "was no longer bound" by the plea agreement including prosecutors' promise to support a possible sentencing reduction for Manafort accepting responsibility for his crimes, according to

Manafort is scheduled to be sentenced in DC on March 13. His lawyers claim that he did not intentionally lie.

"Manafort did not lie," they wrote in a redacted memo filed on Wednesday. "Despite the considerable efforts of the Office of … it cannot prove what did not happen."

Manafort was seen as a potentially valuable witness for Mueller in his investigation and potential coordination between the Trump campaign and He worked for nearly half a year on the campaign before resigning in August 2016 over revelations of his lobbying on behalf of the former Ukrainian

Manafort's former business partner, Richard Gates, who also worked on the Trump campaign, had also pleaded guilty and been cooperating in the investigation.

Gates and Manafort were two of six Trump associates to be charged in connection with the investigation. The special counsel had also indicted more than two dozen Russians for using and hacking to meddle in the election.

--IANS

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, February 14 2019. 13:54 IST
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