Special counsel Robert Mueller has filed a heavily redacted court document Tuesday afternoon outlining the underlying evidence to support its claims that Paul Manafort, the president's onetime campaign chairman, led to federal investigators about the course of his 12 days of interviews.
The alleged lies, spelled out by and FBI special agent, include Manafort's claims that he had not been in contact with people in President Donald Trump's administration, and misleading statements about the nature of his discussions with a longtime business associate identified by the special counsel as a former Russian intelligence officer. The government, too, all manafort reported about the source of a $ 1
"It is my belief that Manafort made false and misleading statements in breach of the plea agreement with the government," the agent, Jeffrey Weiland, wrote in a 31-page declaration.
Though the details are difficult to discern because of the heavy redactions, the filing suggests that the Manafort interviews were wide ranging and there are several aspects of the special counseling probe that are not well understood, including several that could intersect with his five months of work with then-candidate Trump.
Special counseling prosecutors, tasked with probing Russian interference in the 2016 campaign, accumulating manafort in November of lying to federal investigators, marking the end of a short-lived plea deal struck just before the start of a trial in Washington. At a hearing in December, the federal judge overseeing that case asked the government to provide some "underlying evidence" to support the scan details they've offered about the content of his alleged lies, which they said after he had agreed to fully cooperate. .
If U.S. Pat. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson concludes that Manafort failed to live up to his cooperation agreement, he could face a lengthy prison term – potentially up to 80 years, though most likely closer to seven years, legal experts said.
Manafort's legal team argued in a court filing last week that their client did not intentionally mislead investigators.
"Mr. Manafort provided complete and truthful information to the best of his ability, ”wrote his defense team. "He attempted to live up to the requirements of his cooperation agreement and provided meaningful cooperation with several key areas under current government investigation."
In Tuesday's filing, prosecutors provided details on five topic areas in which Manafort is accused of lying. One of those areas involves Manafort's claims that it never contacted anyone in the Trump administration while it was under investigation. Though much of the supporting material is blacked out, the court filing says "evidence demonstrates that Manafort had contacts, and tried to have contacts, through others, with the Administration."
The government also accused of lying about his interactions with Konstantin Kilimnik, the long-term business associate with Russian intelligence.
"About the course of several interviews and in the grand jury, Manafort gave various accounts regarding his communications with Kilimnik," according to the filing. Details of those "various accounts" are edited, but suggest he repeatedly changed his testimony over the course of several meetings with Mueller's team and a federal grand jury.
As part of the document meant to defend Manafort against accusations that he has led to prosecutors, his defense counsel failed to adequately redact sections of their filing, inadvertently revealing that Manafort stands accused of sharing internal Trump campaign polling data with Kilimnik while he was working for the campaign in the spring of 2016.
Another area zeroed in on a $ 125,000 payment Manafort received. The source of the funds is blacked out in documents. Legal analysts have suggested the payment of payment details with a payment to Manafort by a political action committee called Rebuilding America Now, which was set up in the summer of 2016 by a longtime friend of Manafort's. The political committee raised and spent millions of dollars to support Trump's campaign.
Manafort has already been found on eight counts of tax and bank fraud in a Virginia case related to his work as an unregistered foreign lobbyist. Sentencing in that case is scheduled for early February, and could land him a lengthy prison term.
Manafort is scheduled for sentence in the Washington case on March 5.