It's been a hot minute since the country got an update on Paul Manafort's legal troubles. After being charged with 18 counts of alleged bank fraud, tax invasion, and hiding foreign bank accounts (and convicted on several of them) back in 2018, President Donald Trump's former campaign manager struck a plea deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. But that deal is reportedly in jeopardy after a federal judge ruled on Wednesday, Feb. 13 that Manafort might not have told the whole truth and nothing but the truth to the special counsel. So this latest twist in the drama begs the question, what did Paul Manafort allegedly lie about?
Judge Amy Berman Jackson, judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, ruled on Feb. 13 that President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman "intentionally" lied to Mueller's investigators after agreeing to cooperate with them as part of his plea deal. Representatives of Manafort did not immediately respond to Elite Daily's request for comment. The alleged lies, according to CNN, surrounded Mueller's probe into possible Russian involvement during the 2016 presidential election, and dealings Manafort allegedly had with Konstantin Kilmnik, who the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has linked to Russian intelligence and indicted last year, according to NPR. Kilimnik has denied being associated with Russian intelligence, per The Guardian. Manafort's counsel, however, argued that Manafort did not intentionally lie about anything.
Not only did the judge rule that she was convinced that Manafort had lied to investigators, but the report also included that in doing so he broke his plea deal with special counsel, and that doesn't look good for his prison sentence. The filing states 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 U.S. Sentencing Guidelines for acceptance of responsibility." The office of the special counsel declined to comment to Elite Daily regarding the ruling.
Manafort first struck a deal back in September after being charged with alleged conspiracy against the U.S., which included alleged money laundering and tax fraud, and alleged conspiracy to obstruct justice, or more specifically: witness tampering. On Sept. 14, Manafort pleaded guilty to those charges and agreed to "cooperate fully, truthfully, completely, and forthrightly with the Government," according to BuzzFeed News. As part of the deal Manafort also agreed to surrender some properties and financial assets and in exchange his prison time could have been capped at 10 years, or maybe even fewer, as opposed to the over 80 years he was initially looking at.
But the threads of the deal started to unravel about a month later —and set up the foundation for Judge Jackson's ruling — when on Nov. 26, 2018 Mueller's team accused Manafort of lying "on a variety of subjects" to the special counsel's investigation and therefore violating the terms of their agreement, according to The Hill. The special counsel's office declined to comment on the filing to Elite Daily at the time, including in regards to what Manafort allegedly lied about and what repercussions he may be facing. Representatives of Manafort did not reply to Elite Daily's request for comment.
Cut to months later, and what happens next? Well, probably not a reduced prison sentence.