https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/13/politics/paul-manafort-robert-mueller/index.htmlWashington (CNN)Paul Manafort "intentionally" lied to special counsel Robert Mueller's office, breaking the plea agreement that made him the star cooperator in the Russia probe, a federal judge found on Wednesday.
Manafort "made multiple false statements to the FBI, the OSC and the grand jury concerning matters that were material to the investigation," including his contacts with his Russian associate during the campaign and later, Judge Amy Berman Jackson wrote on Wednesday.
Jackson's ruling is another stunning turn in Mueller's efforts to uncover Russian interference in the 2016 election, as the first man the special counsel indicted then pursued as a potential cooperator for a year sees the end of any benefits he tried to gain through a guilty plea.
Manafort was convicted of various financial crimes in August, and then cut the deal to plead guilty to two charges of conspiracy and witness tampering in September.
In all, Jackson determined Manafort intentionally lied about $125,000 he received for the legal bills, about another unnamed Justice Department criminal investigation and about his interactions with his longtime Russian associate Konstantin Kilimnik while he was campaign chairman and later.
Jackson noted twice in her order that two of the topics Paul Manafort lied about, Kilimnik and payments he received for his legal bills were "material to the investigation."
Manafort is still bound by what he agreed to in the plea, so he will not be able to retract his guilty pleas. But the finding frees Mueller's office from its contractual obligations in the plea, like asking for a reduced sentence for him because of his cooperation.
Mueller spokesman Peter Carr declined to comment.