WASHINGTON – A federal judge concluded on Wednesday that Paul Manafort had lied repeatedly to federal prosecutors after having promised to cooperate in their investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The decision upends an agreement that Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, had struck with prosecutors before pleading guilty to charges of conspiracy and obstruction of justice. It means Manafort faces the prospect of a longer prison sentence.
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said in an order Wednesday that Manafort "intentionally made false statements" to the FBI and to prosecutors about his interactions with a Russian associate and other subjects.
Manafort pleaded guilty in September to two charges in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. His agreement with prosecutors called for him to cooperate with their investigation in exchange for the possibility of a reduced sentence.
Mueller sought to void the plea agreement in November after prosecutors alleged that Manafort had misled them about his interactions with a Russian business associate, his contacts with Trump's administration and other subjects. Manafort's lawyers mistakenly revealed that one of the lies he was accused of telling related to his sending polling data to a Russian associate during Trump's campaign.
Manafort's lawyers told Jackson that he did not intend to mislead to investigators, but may have forgotten the details of events during a hectic presidential campaign.
"Mr. Manafort did not lie," his lawyers said in a filing Wednesdayhttps://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/02/13/paul-manafort-lied-russia-probe-investigators-judge-rules/2745964002/
Why does Manafort keep lying?