News US Election 2016

Thursday 18 July 2019

Manafort lied to probe about his meetings with Russians


Paul Manafort (AP)
Paul Manafort (AP) Newsdesk Newsdesk

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort lied to prosecutors with special counsel Robert Mueller about matters in their investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, a federal judge has ruled.

The judge's finding that Manafort (69) breached his deal with prosecutors, by lying after his guilty plea, could add years to his prison sentence.

Manafort's lies, the judge found, included "his interactions and communications with [Konstantin] Kilimnik", a longtime aide whom the FBI assessed to have ties to Russian intelligence.

US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the District of Columbia said Manafort also lied to the special counsel, the FBI and the grand jury about a payment from a company to a law firm, and made false statements that were material to another Justice Department investigation.

Manafort's actions mean Mr Mueller's office "is no longer bound" by the plea agreement to support a possible sentencing reduction for Manafort.

Judge Jackson said she would factor in his deception at his sentencing on March 13.

Manafort pleaded guilty on September 14, on the eve of jury selection for his trial, to conspiring to defraud the United States, violate lobbying laws and obstruct justice.

Irish Independent

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