Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson has ruled that there is evidence that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort lied to special counsel Robert Mueller’s team even after agreeing to cooperate, according to documents released today and reported by Vox.
Manafort has already been convicted of financial crimes in Virginia and other charges in Washington. Now, Jackson will take these lies into account when deciding on his sentencing.
Last November, Mueller’s team accused Manafort of breaching their cooperation agreement by repeatedly lying in interviews. Manafort’s lawyers disputed this, saying that the lies were actually the result of Manafort forgetting information and misunderstanding questions. In doing so, his stellar legal team somehow incorrectly redacted their filings.
Because Manafort isn’t being charged with crimes for these lies, the judge didn’t have to prove them beyond a reasonable doubt. Instead, she ruled on the lesser standard that “a preponderance of the evidence” suggested he lied.
Manafort was accused of lying on five topics, which included his contacts with Konstantin Kilimnik, who the FBI believes may have ties to Russian intelligence, and a $125,000 payment to a Super PAC that may have been part of a kickback scheme. On both of these subjects, Jackson ruled in Mueller’s favor.
Mueller also claims that Manafort shared polling data with Kilimnik during the campaign, which some believe points to collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
According to Vox, “Prosecutors have made clear they think [Manafort] was of no real use as a witness, and that they think he was still hiding the truth from them on many topics.”
Manafort’s sentencing in Washington will take place on March 13th, and with this ruling, these lies will be factored into it.