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    Paul Manafort, former advisor to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's campaign, as he checks the teleprompters before Trump's speech at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. (File)

    Ex-Trump Campaign Official Paul Manafort Lied, Violated Plea Agreement - Judge

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    A federal judge ruled Wednesday that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort lied to investigators about his relationship with Russian political consultant Konstantin Kilimnik after signing a plea deal with the Office of Special Counsel (OSC).

    "It is a matter of public record that the Office of Special Counsel has alleged that the defendant made intentionally false statements to the FBI, the OSC, and/or the grand jury in connection with five matters," wrote US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson on Wednesday.

    The five matters include: "a payment made by Firm A to a law firm to pay a debt owed to the law firm by defendant Manafort; co-defendant Konstantin Kilimnik's role in the obstruction of justice conspiracy; the defendant's interactions and communications with Kilimnik; another Department of Justice investigation; and the defendant's contacts with the current administration after the election."

    "In light of the defendant's concession, and based upon the Court's independent review of entire record," the order continues, "the Court ruled at the hearing held on February 13, 2019, that the Office of Special Counsel made its determination that the defendant made false statements and thereby breached the plea agreement in good faith."

    "Therefore, the Office of Special Counsel is no longer bound by its obligations under the plea agreement, including its promise to support a reduction of the offense level in the calculation of the US Sentencing Guidelines for acceptance of responsibility."

    Special Counsel Robert Mueller has previously said he doesn't plan on bringing further criminal charges against Manafort, but the ruling does bear on Manafort's sentencing for other financial crimes, to which he's previously pleaded guilty. Violating the plea agreement doesn't bode well for Manafort's hopes for leniency in prosecutors seeking a shorter sentence.

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    Tags:
    special counsel, plea deal, lies, violation, US District Court, Konstantin Kilimnik, Paul Manafort
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