Paul Manafort’s legal troubles are far from over. On Wednesday, the former Trump 2016 campaign manager headed back to court on charges that he had violated an earlier plea agreement to cooperate in the Mueller probe by lying to investigators.
NEW: A federal judge has ruled that Paul Manafort violated his plea deal with Mueller by making false statements during interviews with investigators. https://t.co/o05BMJWxta
— Axios (@axios) February 13, 2019
Judge Amy Brennan ruled that three of the five violations alleged by Mueller had been proven with a “preponderance of the evidence.” Manafort will return to court on March 13, 2019 for sentencing. The lighter deal he received before as a result of his agreement to cooperate is now off the table. Manafort faces decades in prison if Trump doesn’t pardon him. At 69 years old, Manafort would likely spend the rest of his life in prison.
The New York Times reports that:
‘The decision by Judge Amy Berman Jackson of United States District Court may affect the sentence she hands out in the coming weeks to Mr. Manafort, 69. Judge Jackson said that Mr. Manafort had intentionally lied about his contacts with a Russian associate during the campaign and after Mr. Trump was elected.’
Democrat @RepSwalwell on the forthcoming ruling on whether Manafort lied to Mueller’s team: “I think Paul Manafort is protecting deep, deep secrets that if he told them, would probably put himself and his family and the President, his best chance at a pardon, at risk." pic.twitter.com/4ONWZY1UjU
— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) February 13, 2019
One of the lies Manafort told to prosecutors involves a meeting with Konstantin Kilimnik, which was revealed through court filings to be at the heart of the Mueller probe. Kilimnik has ties to Russian intelligence and the meeting occurred during Manafort’s tenure with the Trump campaign. One subject prosecutors are aware of that was under discussion during that meeting was an end to the fighting in Ukraine.
‘Prosecutors have said that the associate, Konstantin V. Kilimnik, has ties to Russian intelligence services. The judge also found that Mr. Manafort had lied about a payment that was routed through a pro-Trump political action committee to cover his legal bills, and about information relevant to another undisclosed investigation underway at the Justice Department.’
JUST IN: Federal judge finds “by a preponderance of the evidence” that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort lied to FBI, Special Counsel Mueller, grand jury *after* signing plea deal in Russia probe; finding likely to impact sentencing; READ four-page order: pic.twitter.com/agCvsEQ7IO
— Mark Albert (@malbertnews) February 13, 2019
The meeting was previously unknown to reporters and became a subject of focus after the heavily redacted documents that included Manafort’s indictment were filed. Earlier on Wednesday, The Washington Post reported on the meeting by saying that:
‘The Aug. 2, 2016, encounter between the senior Trump campaign officials and Kilimnik, who prosecutors allege has ties to Russian intelligence, has emerged in recent days as a potential fulcrum in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation.’
Special Counsel Robert Mueller no longer has to recommend a lighter sentence because Paul Manafort lied to federal prosecutors in the course of his cooperation, judge in Manafort case says. pic.twitter.com/AofLrozjbn
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) February 13, 2019
Featured image screenshot via YouTube