Manafort faces midnight deadline to respond to Mueller claims he lied after plea deal
Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort is facing a deadline of midnight Monday to reply to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s allegations that he lied to federal agents after agreeing to a plea deal.
D.C. District Court Judge Amy Jackson, who has directed Mueller's team to reply to Manafort's response by Jan. 14, set the Monday response deadline after Mueller alleged in a bombshell filing in November that Manafort had lied about "a variety of subject matters" since his plea deal earlier this year, thereby violating the agreement.
Manafort, 69, has denied Mueller's claims. The former D.C. power player was convicted in a Virginia trial on multiple counts of financial fraud over the summer in connection to work he completed in Ukraine as a political consultant.
Approaching a separate trial on similar charges in September in Washington, D.C., Manafort entered into an arrangement with the government to avert the proceedings in exchange for offering his full cooperation. Manafort has remained in jail and was expected to face at least 10 years in prison.
“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 in a filing in November.
Manafort, according to the report, contested the claims of the special counsel.
"Manafort met with the government on numerous occasions and answered the government’s questions," the report said, citing the former chairman. "Manafort has provided information to the government in an effort to live up to his cooperation obligations. He believes he has provided truthful information and does not agree with the government’s characterization or that he has breached the agreement."
A hearing is expected Jan. 25 to address Mueller's claims before Jackson. Sentencing in that case was set tentatively for early March.
Meanwhile, Manafort is scheduled to face sentencing in federal court in Virginia on Feb. 8.
Mueller's probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election reportedly has been wrapping up. Also on Monday, Trump's legal team pushed back on suggestions that the White House could seek to keep parts of Mueller's final Russia probe report under wraps.
“We prefer that as much of the report as possible is public,” Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani told Fox News on Monday. “We believe a selective release would be problematic.”
Fox News' Matt Richardson contributed to this report.