Another Mueller filing: Paul Manafort lied about five issues after plea deal

According to Mueller's Friday night drop, Manafort made "contact with administration officials" after making deal

By Nicole Karlis

Senior Writer

Published December 7, 2018 9:30PM (EST)

Robert Mueller: Paul Manafort (AP/Charles Dharapak/Getty/Elsa)
Robert Mueller: Paul Manafort (AP/Charles Dharapak/Getty/Elsa)

On Friday, federal prosecutors working for special counsel Robert Mueller said that Paul Manafort, Donald Trump's former campaign chair, had lied multiple times after agreeing to a plea deal. These accusations, including Manafort's alleged false statements about his contacts with Trump administration officials and a $125,000 transfer of funds, come from a heavily redacted memo filed in federal court.

Specifically, the memo points to five areas of alleged falsehood: Manafort's interactions with Konstantin Kilimnik, a Ukrainian political consultant and suspected Russian intelligence agent; Kilimnik’s participation in the obstruction conspiracy; the aforementioned wire transfer; information regarding another Justice Department investigation (whose nature is not clear); and “Manafort’s contact with [Trump] Administration officials.”

After signing a plea agreement in September, Manafort apparently told prosecutors that “he had no direct or indirect communications with anyone in the administration while they were in the administration and that he never asked anyone to try to communicate a message to anyone in the administration on any subject matter.”

“The evidence demonstrates that Manafort lied about his contacts,” the memo states. “The evidence demonstrates that Manafort had contacts with Administration officials. For instance, in a text exchange from May 26, 2018, Manafort authorized a person to speak with an Administration official on Manafort’s behalf.”

The memo adds that a review of documents which were found from a “search of Manafort’s electronic documents” suggests “additional contacts with Administration officials.”

More details are offered concerning Manafort’s alleged lie regarding a mysterious $125,000 payment, whose source is not clear in the memo.

“After signing the plea agreement, Manafort lied about a $125,000 payment made toward a debt incurred by Manafort to a firm working for Manafort in 2017,” the memo states. “Records establish that the payment came from another firm (Firm A) which performed work for an entity (Entity B).”

The memo states that Manafort made “several inconsistent statements to the government about the payment: that it was repayment of a debt owed to Manafort by the head of Entity B (whereas the banking records showed the payment came from Firm A); that it was income to Manafort for work performed for Firm A in the past; and that it was a loan from Firm A to Manafort.”

This latest filing concludes a busy week for Mueller and his team. A separate sentencing memo for former Trump attorney Michael Cohen was filed earlier on Friday, and a memo urging that former national security adviser Michael Flynn serve no prison time -- because of his extensive cooperation with prosecutors -- came earlier in the week.

By Nicole Karlis

Nicole Karlis is a senior writer at Salon, specializing in health and science. Tweet her @nicolekarlis.

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