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Manafort Lied About Contacts With Trump Administration, Robert Mueller’s Team Says

Paul Manafort
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

WASHINGTON — Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team said Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, lied about his contacts with Trump administration figures, breaching his plea agreement.

“Manafort told multiple discernible lies — these were not instances of mere memory lapses,” Mueller’s team said in a filing on Friday. Much of the filing was redacted.

Mueller claims that Manafort violated a plea agreement that called for him to cooperate with his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

After signing that plea agreement, Manafort said he had no direct or indirect communications with anyone in the Trump administration, but the evidence “indicates that Manafort had contacts with administration officials,” Mueller’s team said.

“For instance, in a text exchange from May 26, 2018, Manafort authorized a person to speak with an administration official on Manafort’s behalf. Separately, according to another Manafort colleague, Manafort said in February 2018 that Manafort had been in communication with a senior administration official up through February 2018. A review of documents recovered from a search of Manafort’s electronic documents demonstrates additional contacts with administration officials.”

Manafort entered his plea agreement in September, just as he was facing a trial on bank fraud charges.

In a separate trial in Northern Virginia that ended in August, he was found guilty of eight charges involving his work for the government of Ukraine. Sentencing in that case is scheduled for Feb. 8.

Mueller’s team also claims that Manafort lied about his contacts with Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian associate.

Manafort’s lead team disputes the claim that he lied to prosecutors.