Prosecutors with special attorney Robert S. Mueller III said on Monday that Paul Manafort broke his plea by repeatedly lying while being interrogated in the investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election.
Manafort denies having done so, and both parties agree that the ruling should be established immediately.
The apparent collapse of the Manafort cooperation agreement is the latest surprising change in his case, exposing the long-time Republican consultant to more than a decade behind bars after pleading guilty in September on charges of cheating the Internal Revenue Service, violate foreign lobbying laws and try to obstruct justice.
The court's presentation indicated that Mueller's team had also suffered a possible setback, after gaining access to a witness with potential knowledge of several key events relevant to the investigation during his tenure in the Trump campaign from March to August 2016. , including a Trump Tower meeting attended by a Russian Lawyer and the Republican National Convention.
"After signing the plea agreement, Manafort committed federal crimes by lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Office of the Special Adviser on various issues, which constitute violations of the agreement," prosecutors wrote. "The government will submit a detailed sentencing statement to the Probation Department and the Court before sentencing that establishes the nature of the crimes and the lies of the accused."
Prosecutors did not give details about the areas where they argue that Manafort lied.
Manafort disputes that characterization; his lawyers wrote in the joint submission that "he has provided information to the government in an effort to fulfill his obligations of cooperation."
Manafort pleaded guilty on September 14, days before the trial in Washington, DC, to two counts: conspiring to defraud the United States and conspiring to obstruct justice; admit years of financial crime related to his undisclosed lobbying work for a pro-Russian and political political party in Ukraine.
According to an agreement with prosecutors, Manafort faces a maximum prison sentence of approximately 10 years, not counting a sentence for its August conviction in Virginia for bank and tax fraud. He was ordered to give up an estimated $ 15 million that he hid from the Internal Revenue Service, but was allowed to keep some properties with family members.
Before the declaration, the defenders of Manafort had insisted for a long time that they would not cooperate with Mueller.
However, in the plea documents, Manafort agreed to cooperate "in a complete and sincere manner" with the investigation conducted by the office of the special adviser, including participation in interviews and briefings, producing any document under his control, testifying and accepting to delay the sentence until a certain time. by the Government.
In exchange for his cooperation, Manafort expected prosecutors to recommend leniency, possibly reducing the years of his prison sentence.
The presentation came after Manafort discussed in detail with prosecutors before his plea and, despite numerous visits from him and his lawyers, since then to the offices of prosecutors.
Kevin Downing, a lawyer from Manafort, said at the time of the Manafort statement that it included a full cooperation agreement. "He wanted to make sure that his family stayed safe and lived a good life," Downing said outside the courthouse doors. "He has accepted the responsibility."