Mueller Announces Paul Manafort Power Move – He’s Not Getting Away


On Thursday, it was reported that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort had “breached” his plea agreement with the Justice Department by lying to the FBI and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office two months after he started cooperating in the Russia probe.

Now, Special Counsel Mueller’s office is considering bringing more criminal charges against Manafort. During a half-hour court hearing on Friday morning, Manafort’s team learned that his sentencing for conspiracy and witness tampering will happen on March 5, 2019.

According to CNN:

‘The hearing came just days after special counsel prosecutors said they believe Manafort lied during his interviews with investigators following his guilty plea in September. The special counsel’s office may have to turn over evidence backing up its claim in the coming weeks.’

It is possible this could give Manafort’s legal team and even Donald Trump’s lawyers a new light into some of the information Mueller has collected during the investigation.

CNN reported:

‘Manafort pleaded guilty earlier this year to two charges of conspiracy and witness tampering, while publicly admitting he committed several other financial and lobbying crimes. He separately was found guilty by a jury in Virginia of eight financial fraud charges related to his Ukrainian lobbying proceeds.’
According to lead prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, the Justice Department is evaluating whether Manafort could still be held liable for crimes he’s admitted to but is not currently charged with in federal court. Weissmann said:
‘I don’t know at this time. We will have to evaluate whether it will be fruitful to take action.’
Currently, Manafort is in jail in Alexandria, Virginia, and did not attend the hearing on Friday, but two defense attorneys were present on his behalf.
Manafort was first indicted last October and according to CNN:
‘While he still claimed his innocence in the case, prosecutors indicted him for attempting to contact potential witnesses to shape their stories. He then went to trial in Virginia federal court, holding off prosecutors from making a deal. After he lost his case at trial, Manafort changed his plea and agreed to cooperate with investigators. But that cooperation now appears to be tainted with the lying accusation — another unusual turn of events.’
Weissmann said:
‘We have … had lengthy conversations with the defense to discuss the facts. They’re aware the gravemen of what the concerns are.’
CNN reported:
‘Amy Berman Jackson of the US District Court has been a harsh critic so far of Manafort’s legal maneuvers. She reprimanded his work ghost-writing an op-ed for a Ukrainian newspaper about himself after his arrest, and she denied every request he made to challenge the legal underpinnings of his indictment and Mueller’s approach. She also revoked his house arrest in June, sending him to jail because of the witness tampering accusation.’
Jackson has taken issue with Manafort’s lead attorney Kevin Downing on several occasions after he grew impassioned during court proceedings. She also placed a gag order on the case in its early days after Downing spoke to cameras outside the courtroom defending Manafort and Donald Trump.
Ultimately, if Jackson agrees that Manafort broke his plea deal, his likely sentence in the DC case could be between 17 and almost 22 years in prison, according to his plea agreement. Weissmann indicated though that they are still making a decision about whether the sentence should be reduced or increased.
He said:
‘We’re still debating what the consequences will be.’
Here’s what Twitter had to say:
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