WASHINGTON—U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled Wednesday that former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort violated his plea agreement by lying to the Special Counsel’s team and the FBI.
The ruling sets the stage for Manafort to be sentenced on March 13.
Manafort previously pleaded guilty to obstruction and conspiracy charges last September, accepting an agreement at the time to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
Under the terms, Manafort was required to offer truthful, forthright assistance, but in November, the Special Counsel’s office alleged that the one-time campaign chair lied to investigators in more than five matters.
In a poorly redacted court filing from Manafort’s legal team, the public learned that Mueller’s team believed they were mislead by a meeting in which Manafort shared polling data related to Trump’s 2016 campaign with Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian national with ties to his country’s intelligence community.
Manafort’s attorneys denied that their client lied, but Berman ruled that based on the evidence provided to the court, he did so intentionally.
The longtime Republican operative could face a significant number of additional years in prison following the judge’s ruling.
The White House has largely brushed off the legal woes surrounding the one-time Trump ally, repeatedly claiming that there has been no evidence of any wrongdoing on the president’s part.