Manafort Responded Under Seal to Lying Claims, Spokesman Says
(Bloomberg) -- Paul Manafort’s lawyers responded to claims that he repeatedly lied to Special Counsel Robert Mueller during debriefings with prosecutors in documents filed under seal, out of view of the public, according to his spokesman.
The lawyers for Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman were given a midnight deadline by the judge to file the documents. No response appeared on the electronic filing system in Washington federal court by the cutoff. Filings that are sealed are generally indicated publicly.
"We filed our opposition yesterday under seal,” said Jason Maloni, a spokesman for Manafort. "We did not miss the deadline."
Mueller claimed in a Nov. 26 filing that Manafort breached his plea deal and “committed federal crimes by lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the special counsel’s office on a variety of subject matters.”
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson gave Manafort’s lawyers until Monday to respond to the allegation in writing and said prosecutors must provide their underlying evidence by Jan. 14.
Manafort, 69, agreed to cooperate with Mueller when he admitted to two conspiracy counts in Washington on Sept. 14, a month after jurors convicted him in Virginia of tax and bank fraud. By pleading guilty, Manafort avoided a second trial on charges that he failed to disclose lobbying on behalf of the Ukrainian government, and that he laundered money.
Jackson has scheduled Manafort’s sentencing for March 5, but the judge said she first wanted to determine whether he did breach the plea agreement. She set a hearing for Jan. 25 to consider arguments from both sides.
Manafort misled prosecutors in debriefings about his communications and a meeting with Konstantin Kilimnik, an associate with ties to Russian intelligence, according to a Dec. 7 filing by Mueller. Kilimnik had spent a decade working as a translator and fixer for Manafort’s political consulting business in Ukraine. He had denied working for Russian intelligence.
Prosecutors said that they met 12 times with Manafort, and he testified twice to a grand jury, on Oct. 26 and Nov. 2. Manafort “lied in multiple ways and on multiple occasions,” prosecutors wrote, saying “these were not instances of mere memory lapses.”
Manafort is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 8 for his Virginia jury convictions for bank and tax fraud.
The case is U.S. v. Manafort, 17-cr-201, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).
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