Trump says Mueller's 'gone rogue' after dumping Manafort plea deal

Courtesy ZUMA Press  MGN

Special counsel Robert Mueller says former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort violated his plea agreement by repeatedly lying to federal investigators in the Russian Federation probe.

Manafort is scheduled to be sentenced in the Virginia case on February 8, 2019, The New York Times reported. He also disagreed that he breached his plea agreement.

Trump says that when the Mueller investigation ends it will become evident that people were treated "horribly" and "viciously" and that people's lives are being ruined for refusing to lie. Trump has hinted that he might pardon aides who remain loyal to the White House.

"One of the reasons I respect Paul Manafort so much is he went through that trial", Trump said in an interview with FOX News in August.

Manafort and his lawyers had been spotted meeting with investigators in the weeks after his plea deal.

The last minute breakthrough in Manafort's case indicates the aggressive approach of Robert Mueller in the investigations against the Russian meddling in the 2016 Presidential elections, and to expose anyone in the Trump campaign who was aware of or assisted Moscow's effort. The accusation implies that Manafort has acted in violation of his plea agreement with the government in September which required him to "fully, truthfully, completely, and forthrightly" cooperate with the government's investigation.

"He's either a pathological liar who is incapable of telling the truth and thinks he can outsmart prosecutors, or he's hoping for a pardon", Rocah said.

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Mueller also noted that the guilty pleas stand as a result, while an agreement by prosecutors to a reduced sentence based on cooperation was no longer required.

He made the plea deal to head off a second trial after being convicted last summer on eight felony counts related to millions of dollars he hid from US tax authorities in offshore bank accounts. Well, now Robert Mueller is alleging that Manafort has been lying to his team, as well as to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. That was when he began cooperating with Mueller and his team.

Prosecutors did not provide details of the alleged lies but said they would do so before sentencing.

While Robert Mueller has been struggling to find links between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks - that distributed emails and other documents, which Russian agents stole from Democratic computers before the 2016 presidential elections - Trump has been criticizing the special counsel.

Justice Department veterans are flummoxed that lawyers representing Paul Manafort, the former chairman of President Donald Trump's campaign, are still in touch with Trump's lawyers following Manafort's guilty plea. If there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives (a hypothesis without any evidence in support thus far), Manafort would either have to have been part of it or known of it. But special counsel prosecutors were "not getting what they want", one source with knowledge of the discussions said.

But with prosecutors saying he breached the agreement, Manafort now faces serious repercussions such as the possibility of prosecution on additional charges, including the 10 felony counts dropped when he made the deal.

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