Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has breached his plea deal by lying to federal investigators, according to a court filing, in a potential setback to the special counsel's probe into Russia's meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The accusation implies that Manafort has acted in violation of his plea agreement with the government in September which required him to "fully, truthfully, completely, and forthrightly" cooperate with the government's investigation.
"He believes he has provided truthful information and does not agree with the government's characterization or that he has breached the agreement", the filing reported.
Paul Manafort, former campaign chairman for US President Donald Trump. But special counsel prosecutors were "not getting what they want", one source with knowledge of the discussions said. They are now asking a federal judge to set a date to sentence him.
"After signing the plea agreement, Manafort committed federal crimes by lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Special Counsel's Office on a variety of subject matters, which constitute breaches of the agreement", Mueller's office said.
Mueller's team did not spell out what Manafort lied about.
CNN's Don Lemon hosted a panel discussion to explain the latest unraveling into Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the 2016 Russian Federation probe.
But the development will also raise speculation that Manafort may be seeking to curry favor with Trump or protecting other associates who worked on the campaign.More news: Nissan drives out chairman after arrest
Russian Federation denies United States allegations it hacked Democratic Party emails and ran a disinformation campaign, largely on social media.
It's a dire turn for Manafort, who was accused of witness tampering, pleaded guilty to a range of charges laid by Mueller and finally agreed to cooperate to avert the possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison.
As part of the plea deal, Manafort agreed to provide information on a "broad" array of topics in the hopes of getting a lighter sentence in his August conviction in Virginia on bank and tax fraud.
The judge in DC District Court who received the update Monday night has not yet weighed in, and a sentencing for Manafort's guilty plea has not yet been scheduled.
He faces multiple years in prison.
As part of his plea agreement, Manafort also agreed to forfeit five properties he owned in NY, including his apartment at Trump Tower and his sprawling estate in the Hamptons.
Manafort is largely seen as the central figure when it comes to getting to the bottom of the collusion question, given his Ukrainian lobbying connections, his time as Trump's campaign chairman, and his presence during key moments of interest for the special counsel.