Manafort's court date set for Tuesday
In September, Manafort had pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy in a District of Columbia case and agreed to cooperate with the special counsel’s ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections. But in a court filing last Friday, the special counsel’s office accused Manafort of lying to investigators, writing that Manafort had “breached his plea agreement by making false statements” on multiple occasions. “These were not instances of mere memory lapses,” prosecutor’s wrote, charging that Manafort lied about his contacts with unnamed Trump officials, among other things. Wednesday’s hearing may help fill in some of the details on how Manafort misled Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team.
“We are prepared to prove the basis for the defendant’s breach at a hearing that will establish each false statement through independent documentary and testimonial evidence, including Manafort’s subsequent admissions,” the special counsel’s office wrote in Friday’s filing.
However, Mueller’s team also filed a motion that would allow them to file under seal all the information that relates to “pending investigations or uncharged individuals.”
Portions of Mueller’s court filing were heavily redacted, in particular a segment related to Manafort’s interactions with Konstantin Kilimnik, a decades-long associate of Manafort’s with ties to Russian intelligence. According to Mueller’s filing, the two men conspired to obstruct the special counsel probe through witness tampering, actions Manafort reportedly “conceded” to engaging in with Kilimnik.
In a separate case in Virginia, Manafort was convicted in August of eight felony counts related to financial fraud. Manafort awaits sentencing in both cases. It’s unclear whether Mueller’s team will file new charges against Manafort for lying to them or whether prosecutors will simply push for harsher sentencing.