Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has breached his plea deal by lying to federal investigators, according to a court filing, in a potential setback to the special counsel's probe into Russia's meddling in the 2016 United States presidential election.
Mueller's team did not spell out what Manafort lied about.
Paul Manafort, former campaign chairman for US President Donald Trump.
In August, a federal jury in Alexandria, Virginia, convicted Manafort of bank and tax fraud.
He pleaded guilty in October 2017 and pledged to cooperate with the Mueller probe, and was later sentenced after expressing his remorse that he "lied in an investigation that was important to national security".
Manafort, though he has not made public statements since his plea, was thought to be the star cooperator in the special counsel's ongoing probe.
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Rudy Giuliani, who represents Trump in the Russian Federation investigation, told Reuters in October that he had periodically spoken with Manafort's lawyer, Kevin Downing, and that he believed Manafort had not provided any information to prosecutors that was damaging to the president.
"After signing the plea agreement, Manafort committed federal crimes by lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Special Counsel's Office on a variety of subject matters, which constitute breaches of the agreement", prosecutors said in a joint status report filed in U.S. District Court in Washington.
Manafort put up a stiff fight in court until federal jurors in Virginia found him guilty of financial crimes. The president's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, entered into a plea deal with Mueller, while Trump's longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, has been providing information to Mueller's team and federal prosecutors in NY, among others, a person familiar with the matter has said. His attorneys say in the same filing that he believes he "provided truthful information". That included his work on the Trump campaign as well as his Ukrainian political work, which remains under investigation by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of NY.
The torpedoing of Manafort's plea deal could expose him to a lengthier prison sentence and potentially more criminal charges. Manafort remains jailed and is expected to face at least 10 years in prison.
The agreement pertains to one of two cases against Manafort.
That gathering at Trump Tower had become a central focus of Mueller's look into what role Russian played in the 2016 presidential election.