PANTS ON FIRE

Manafort Violated Plea Agreement and Lied to FBI, Federal Judge Says

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled Wednesday that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort violated his plea agreement with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office in three of five instances outlined by Mueller's team. According to Jackson, Mueller's office has submitted evidence to support that Manafort made false statements to the FBI, Mueller's office, and the grand jury about a payment by “Firm A” to a “law firm.” Jackson also found that evidence showed Manafort lied about “his interactions and communications with [Russian national Konstantin] Kilimnik” and “intentionally made false statements that were material to another DOJ investigation.” However, Jackson said she did not believe the special counsel's office had established that Manafort lied about “Kilimnik’s role in the obstruction of justice conspiracy” nor his “contacts with the administration.” In light of her ruling, Jackson said Mueller's office was “no longer bound by its obligations under the plea agreement,” like its promise to support a sentence reduction. Mueller's office claimed Manafort violated his plea deal late last year after he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy against the United States and one count of obstruction in September.