Ex-Trump campaign chairman Manafort lied to Federal Bureau of Investigation - special counsel

Mueller accuses Manafort of breaking plea agreement by lying

Mueller accuses Manafort of breaking plea agreement by lying

United States prosecutors say Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, has breached a plea bargain agreement by lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Mueller's team did not spell out what Manafort lied about.

The torpedoing of Manafort's plea deal, disclosed in a court filing Monday, also results in special counsel Robert Mueller's team losing a co-operating witness from the top of Donald Trump's presidential campaign who was present for several key episodes under investigation.

Manafort was convicted on eight out of 18 counts of financial crimes including bank fraud and tax fraud in federal court in Virginia in August.

In the plea deal, Manafort plead guilty to conspiracy against the USA and obstruction of justice, related to allegations of witness tampering.

You can see the Mueller probe's new legal documents here.

Manafort said in the same filing that he disagreed with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's assertion that he had lied, but both sides agreed the impasse meant that the court should move ahead and sentence him for his crimes.

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"He believes he has provided truthful information and does not agree with the government's characterization or that he has breached the agreement", Manafort's lawyers said in the same filing.

After an allegedly drunken Papadopoulos related the conversation to an Australian diplomat who passed the information on through intelligence channels, the FBI opened an investigation into contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

The move signals a return to the acrimonious relationship Manafort has had with the special counsel's office since his indictment past year.

At the very least it seems unlikely that prosecutors will request a lighter sentence in response to Mr Manafort's cooperation.

The apparent collapse of Manafort's cooperation agreement is the latest stunning turnaround in his case, exposing the longtime Republican consultant to more than a decade behind bars after pleading guilty in September on charges of cheating the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), violating foreign lobbying laws and attempting to obstruct justice.

"A breach relieves the government of any obligations it has under the agreement, including its agreement to a reduction in the sentencing guidelines for acceptance of responsibility, but leaves intact all the obligations of the defendant as well as his guilty pleas", Mueller wrote.

That gathering at Trump Tower had become a central focus of Mueller's look into what role Russian played in the 2016 presidential election.

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