Trump steps up attack on Mueller


Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has violated his plea agreement by lying to the FBI and special counsel investigators after pleading guilty to federal charges, according to a court filing.

Monday's court filing did not go into detail about what exactly Manafort allegedly lied about, and the special counsel said it would submit a more detailed sentencing submission that "sets forth the nature of the defendant's crimes and lies, including those after signing the plea agreement" at a later date. Both sides ask the judge to now move his case toward sentencing.

But Mueller's office says Manafort broke his promise and also broke federal law with "crimes and lies".

Faced with a second trial in the District of Columbia on related charges in September, he pleaded guilty to two conspiracy counts and agreed to an open-ended arrangement requiring him to answer "fully, truthfully, completely and forthrightly" questions about "any and all matters" of interest to the government.

Manafort attended a meeting at Trump Tower in June 2016 with a group of Russians offering "dirt" on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, who lost in an upset to Trump in the vote that November.

The President sent out a series of tweets this morning, calling Robert Mueller a "prosecutor gone rogue", and accusing him of only looking at one side of the investigation.

Trump earlier downplayed reports saying his daughter's emails didn't contain classified information and haven't been deleted, but CNN reported that House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy has sent a letter to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly seeking additional information.

Manafort denies that he lied, and his attorneys say he believes he "provided truthful information".

Manafort was likely facing about 10 years in prison - a statistical life sentence given his age - for the eight guilty counts in the Virginia case alone, sentencing experts have said.

MSNBC legal analyst Danny Cevallos explained how special counsel Robert Mueller will use Paul Manafort's alleged lies to sneak past President Donald Trump's claims of executive privilege. In fact, it was so obvious that Judge T.S. Ellis threatened to throw out all charges against Manafort back in May over the special counsel's role in prosecuting these specific charges.

Other high-profile members of Trump's campaign team are also due to be sentenced in December after providing information to federal prosecutors.

The Monday filing also indicated that prosecutors do not consider Manafort a reliable witness.

"I have never been contacted by anyone connected to WikiLeaks, either directly or indirectly", Manafort said in a statement.

Another Mueller case charged that Russians working for and associated with a St. Petersburg troll farm, the Internet Research Agency, ran a social-media disinformation campaign during the election that was aimed at stoking divisions between US voters on controversial issues such as immigration, race, and gun control.

"We discuss things that are appropriate", Giuliani said.

Though prosecutors can vacate Manafort's plea agreement, they may not want to do that yet because it would result in another lengthy trial. He faces multiple years in prison.