A federal judge in the case of former Trump campaign chair and convicted felon Paul Manafort ruled Wednesday that Manafort had “intentionally” lied to the special counsel in the Russia probe, thereby violating his plea agreement.
“The Office of Special Counsel is no longer bound by its obligations under the plea agreement, including its promise to support a reduction of the offense level,” Judge Amy Berman Jackson wrote in the order, greenlighting a longer sentence for Manafort. The special counsel’s office won on 3 out of 5 claims it made against Manafort.
In particular, Berman noted the special counsel had “established by a preponderance of the evidence” that Manafort lied about his interactions and communications with Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russia ally who the special counsel says has ties to Russian intelligence. Communications between Manafort and Kilimnik during the campaign and after have recently garnered media attention as lying at “the heart” of a potential Trump-Russia conspiracy to rig the election. Manafort, Kilimnik, and Manafort deputy Rick Gates have all been placed at a consequential August 2, 2016 meeting in a now infamous cigar bar. Gates is cooperating with the special counsel’s office.