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Mueller Says Manafort Lied About Contacts With Administration Officials

Should Manafort face harsher punishment for breaking his plea deal?

by Axios | Updated on 12.7.18

Special Counsel Robert Mueller revealed Friday that the former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort lied to the FBI and the Special Counsel's Office about his contact with administration officials, a Russian political consultant, a wire transfer, and information related to another DOJ investigation.

Why it matters: These are the "principal" lies Manafort made that ruined his plea agreement with Mueller. The document shows how much Mueller knows about the investigation’s witnesses and their conduct, and could serve as a warning shot to other witnesses not to lie or tell partial truths — which includes the president, who has already submitted his written statement to Mueller’s team.


Mueller's team is prepared to provide evidence of Manafort's lies at a hearing that includes "testimonial evidence," as well as "electronic communications," including at least one text message, and "travel records."

The lies

Administration contact: Mueller claims that after signing his plea agreement, Manafort said he had no direct or indirect communications with anyone in the Trump administration, when in fact:

  • According to a "Manafort colleague," he had been in contact with an administration official through February 2018.
  • He authorized someone to talk with the administration on his behalf via text in May 2018 — while under indictment.

He made inconsistent statements about a $125,000 payment made that he said was at once a repayment of a debt owed to Manafort, that it was his income, and that it was a loan.

Konstantin Kilimnik, a longtime business partner who is suspected of being a Russian intelligence operative, was charged along with Manafort earlier this year with conspiracy and obstruction of justice in an alleged attempt to influence other testimonies in the investigation. Manafort at first denied that Kilimnik was involved in witness tampering, but later conceded that he was.

  • Manafort also lied about a meeting with Kilimnik, details of which are redacted.

What's next: Mueller’s team has requested they be allowed to file in the future about Manafort’s lies under seal.

Go deeper: Read the filing

Axios

Written by Axios

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(146)
  • Nick
    Voted Yes
    12/08/2018
    ···

    A strong message needs to be sent that the law isn’t just for regular people. Nobody is above the law. A felony is a felony.

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  • Ivana
    12/08/2018
    ···

    After tonight’s news about it Looks like our president should be indicted!! No one is above the law! He is a conspirator of crimes, with support of Russia. He doesn’t care about the citizens of the USA, he only cares about how much he can fill his pockets.

    Like (17)
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  • Mark
    Voted No
    12/08/2018
    ···

    Gentlemen, please end the pointless, fruitless and highly biased Mueller investigation. Now. Before things spin out of control. The silent majority will tolerate the stench of the DC toilet for just so long. Dig down deep and find your political courage. For America’s sake, do the right thing.

    Like (10)
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  • Karan
    Voted Maybe
    12/08/2018
    ···

    When is any one gonna be charged with collusion? You know, the full point of the investigation

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  • James
    Voted Yes
    12/08/2018
    ···

    At this time 100% of those responding have said Manifort deserves the harshest sentence possible. Never has there been a 100% agreement on anything on Countable. Apparently America agrees on one thing, you don’t lie to Mueller and get away with it. How refreshing can you get!

    Like (13)
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  • Barb
    12/08/2018
    ···

    Fake potus heading a band if liars, cheats, scoundrels. What a surprise. With a promise of a pardon, Manafort may walk after all. The land of the free to do what they want with no consequences.

    Like (11)
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  • JTJ
    Voted No
    12/08/2018
    ···

    Any proof of collusion between Trump and Russia to influence the election? Nope?

    Like (9)
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  • David
    Voted Maybe
    12/08/2018
    ···

    What about Hillary lying about her private email server? Her lying that she had no classified emails on her server? Her and Obama lying that the Benghazi uprising was due to a cartoon? Obama lying that if you like your Doctor you can keep them! Your Obamacare health policy will save each person $2,500! It is so hypocritical what the Dems say! I cannot believe there are that many ignorant voters in this land!

    Like (6)
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  • Lisa
    Voted Yes
    12/08/2018
    ···

    He needs to be deemed an enemy against America. Treason for collaborating against the United States Election for the benefit of an Enemy of America- Russian influence in our affairs. He needs to get Life with out benefit of parole. My Reps should push for impeachment as this most definitely reaches Trump who must be the final word in everything he touches. Sleeze Factor is off of the Charts

    Like (12)
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  • Lisa
    Voted Yes
    12/08/2018
    ···

    If Manafort doesn’t face harsher punishment, what other consequence is there for breaking a plea deal? He has wasted time and money. He was given a second chance, and just continued to lie. Throw the book at him!

    Like (12)
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  • Mike
    Voted Yes
    12/08/2018
    ···

    Close the jail door and throw away the key!

    Like (10)
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  • DrCindyBean
    Voted Yes
    12/08/2018
    ···

    Manafort is a traitor and so is trump. Congress- Get traitor trump and trump’s corrupt criminal regime out of our government.

    Like (9)
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  • Chickie
    Voted Yes
    12/08/2018
    ···

    The recent Mueller Investigation reports and memos specifically address Cohen and Manafort. Cohen, who was #45’s ‘clean up my mess’ personal attorney, has admitted to several serious crimes. These crimes were undertaken at the direction of #45. Manafort was the head cheerleader for #45’s election campaign. There is no doubt, his position with #45 and the #45 Tower meeting with the Russians is NOT a coincidence. For those that are crying foul because Mueller has not addressed #45, why would he? These reports are not about #45. These memos and reports are simply Mueller laying the groundwork for #45’s crimes against the Executive Office and more importantly, the American people: treasonous acts with an U.S.enemy, Russia; obstruction of justice; breaking the Emoluments Clause of the Executive Office; using his position to garner favor for his personal business and for the business of his family; the list goes on and on. #45 is a habitual liar. He has proven he cannot be trusted. He has defiled our Constitution, and has made our beloved country a worldwide laughing stock. #45 is sweating bigly folks. Look for further unhinged Tweets, impromptu press conferences where he attacks and throws temper tantrums like a two year old.

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  • Christine
    Voted Yes
    12/08/2018
    ···

    No brainer. Why do we reward these criminals. What have we become.

    Like (8)
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  • Phyllis
    Voted Yes
    12/08/2018
    ···

    Hell yes he should what makes all these people including trump think there above the law.

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  • Sharon
    Voted Yes
    12/08/2018
    ···

    If he broke his word on his plea deal. The leniency should be revoked. He agreed to the terms. He broke his word.

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  • Robert
    Voted No
    12/08/2018
    ···

    What does this have to do with the fabricated Democrat and Media narrative that the Trump campaign “colluded” with the Russians to win the election? You libtards need to read Dan Bongino’s book titled Spygate. The good news for Libtards and Dims is he uses all the biased liberal ALT left media stories that you fools read to make his case.

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  • KansasTamale
    Voted Yes
    12/08/2018
    ···

    Not only that HE WAS TALKING THR TRUMP BUNCH WHIKE HE WAS IN COURT - reporting to them what was going on in the courtroom. LOCK HIM UP.

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  • Ken
    Voted Yes
    12/08/2018
    ···

    He should be prosecuted according to the seriousness of his crimes. I hope he's not able to buy his way out.

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  • James
    Voted No
    12/08/2018
    ···

    Mueller is a left wing jerk and how much longer do the American taxpayers have to foot the bill for this Crap?

    Like (5)
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