Robert Mueller Says Paul Manafort Violated Plea Deal
- Author: Jon Douglas Nov 28, 2018,
Nov 28, 2018, 1:00
Robert Mueller, the special counsel appointed by the Justice Department to handle an investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, alleged that Manafort continued to commit crimes after signing the plea agreement by lying to the FBI and Mueller's team. But ABC News reported that the dispute between the two sides stemmed from suspicions that Manafort was not being entirely forthcoming about all the information he may know that's relevant to the Russian Federation investigation.
A jury found Manafort guilty of eight of 18 counts of tax and bank fraud in a federal trial in NY on August 21. Manafort had hoped that in agreeing to cooperate with Mr. Mueller's team, prosecutors would argue that he deserved a lighter punishment.
Manafort and his lawyers had been spotted meeting with investigators in the weeks after his plea deal.
"It seems to me he's angling for the pardon", said David Weinstein, a former federal prosecutor in Miami. With the end of the midterm elections, speculation mounted that Manafort might deliver information that could lead to charges against others in Trump's circle.
Manafort, 69, was convicted on multiple counts of financial fraud over the summer in connection to work he completed in Ukraine as a political consultant.
Both sides ask the judge to now move Manafort's case toward sentencing.
Manafort, who is being held behind bars, is scheduled to be sentenced on February 8, 2019.
The former Trump campaign chairman is a significant figure of interest in Mueller's inquiry, which is examining Russia's interference in the 2016 election, whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow, and whether Trump sought to obstruct justice after he learned of the investigation's existence past year. In a separate case, his potential sentencing under federal guidelines has not yet been calculated, but prosecutors previously said he could spend up to 10 years in jail.
Mueller's office, in court documents filed Monday evening, claim Manafort 'committed federal crimes by lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Special Counsel's Office on a variety of subject matters'.
A federal judge rejected his appeal to delay his prison term while he waited for an appeals court to rule whether the Mueller appointment was constitutional.
He already faces up to five years in prison on the charges in his plea agreement.
Trump also criticized the cost of the ongoing investigation.
Mueller's condemnation of Manafort stands in stark contrast to his filing this month about Manafort's former right-hand man, Rick Gates.