Paul Manafort’s Story Is Unraveling Before Our Eyes - Sabi Tips


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Paul Manafort’s Story Is Unraveling Before Our Eyes

From revelations of lying to alleged secret meetings with Julian Assange, the Mueller investigation has taken another turn.

On Monday evening, Special Counsel Robert Mueller said in an explosive new court filing that Manafort, the disgraced former Trump campaign chairman and Republican lobbyist, had lied to the FBI and the special counsel’s office despite signing a plea deal in which he agreed to “fully, truthfully, completely and forthrightly” answer all of the government’s questions.

Then, Tuesday morning, the Guardian revealed that Manafort had allegedly visited Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, at least three times over the past five years at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where Assange has lived since 2012. One of those visits supposedly occurred in March 2016, the same month that Manafort joined the Trump presidential campaign to help Trump secure the Republican nomination. Later that year, WikiLeaks would receive tens of thousands of emails that were stolenfrom the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party by Russian hackers. WikiLeaks spent the final months of the 2016 campaign selectively releasing those emails in an effort to damage Clinton’s chances before the election. 

The latest revelation of Manafort’s falsehoods will have serious consequences for both Manafort and the Mueller investigation as a whole. By allegedly violating his plea agreement, Manafort, who is already facing 10 years in prison for tax fraud, could face more time behind bars if Mueller’s team decides to refile charges against him that were previously dismissed as part of his deal to cooperate with the investigation.

Mueller, for his part, will likely lose a valuable trove of information about the inner workings of the Trump campaign in 2016 and a potential star witness. Any evidence gleaned from interviews with Manafort are now tainted by his alleged lies and crimes. It’s inconceivable that Mueller could call on Manafort to testify as a credible witness after now having accused Manafort of committing “crimes and lies” on “a variety of subjects,” as the new filing puts it.

Mueller’s lawyers said in the new filing that they will provide more specifics about Manafort’s alleged lies in an upcoming briefing with the federal court in Washington, D.C.

In the same filing, Manafort’s lawyers said that their client had met with the government “on numerous occasions,” answered their questions and provided information “in an effort to live up to his cooperation obligations.” They continue, “He believes he has provided truthful information and does not agree with the government’s characterization or that he has breached the agreement.”

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