In a court filing released on Monday, Robert Mueller accused Paul Manafort of lying to investigators, despite agreeing to comply with the special counsel’s probe, per the AP. The list of Manafort’s alleged crimes is long; if Mueller proves he lied and violated the agreement, he could face charges for all of them. The former Trump campaign chairman was present for two key meetings that connect him to Russian interference in the 2016 election and has met with investigators several times to report on his involvement.
Manafort was in the room with Donald Trump Jr., in Trump Tower during the meeting with Russians claiming to have incriminating information on Hillary Clinton. In September, he plead guilty to conspiracy against the United States, as well as conspiracy to obstruct justice. That was when he began cooperating with Mueller and his team. He would be able to dodge several other charges in doing so.
Manafort was also convicted of eight felonies. He was caught hiding huge sums of money from the IRS in offshore accounts, all in connection to undisclosed lobbying along with Ukrainian political work that’s still under investigation. Manafort was even found trying to interfere with witnesses in his own case. Since that incident, he’s been sitting in a Virginia jail, awaiting a Feb. 8, 2019, sentencing on a separate case, per CNN. And that’s all on top of his suspected communications with Wikileaks’ Julian Assange:
Manafort was set to slip away from several of the charges against him as a result of his plea agreement, but that’s not likely to be the case anymore. He pledged to work truthfully and thoroughly with the government in its investigation, but Mueller’s team is confident that hasn’t happened. Mueller’s team’s court filing claims that, by lying about “a variety of subject matters,” Manafort committed yet another federal crime and violated his plea deal. It’s unclear what exactly he’s suspected of lying about, but the special counsel will elaborate in communications with the judge.
More importantly, we can infer that Mueller is confident he can prove that Manafort is being deceitful. Per BuzzFeed News, the special counsel is finished working with Manafort, either because he’s provided false testimony, or because he’s simply given all the information necessary. There are numerous details unavailable to the public, but for Mueller to make these claims, there has to be another source he’s able to cross-examine.
We’ll likely find out more soon, as both parties are ready for sentencing. Manafort’s lawyers responded to the allegations with a denial, saying “he has provided truthful information and does not agree with the government’s characterization or that he has breached the agreement,” and have requested a court date. That date has yet to be determined.