US prosecutors say Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign chief, has breached a plea bargain agreement by repeatedly lying to the FBI.
Manafort was convicted of financial fraud in August relating to his work as a political consultant in Ukraine.
He then accepted a plea deal on other charges in return for co-operating with Robert Mueller’s probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Manafort’s lawyers say they believe he provided truthful information
However, Special Counsel Robert Mueller said that Manafort lied “on a variety of subject matters” after signing the plea deal.
The latest development means that Mr Mueller’s investigation has lost a key witness.
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Manafort’s lawyers insist that he did not breach the plea deal – however, both sides now agree that there is no reason to delay sentencing.
What was the plea deal?
In August Manafort was convicted on eight counts of fraud, bank fraud and failing to disclose bank accounts.
A month later he pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy against the US and one charge of conspiracy to obstruct justice in a plea bargain with Mr Mueller. The agreement avoided a second trial on money laundering and other charges.
The plea deal meant Manafort would face up to 10 years in prison and would forfeit four of his properties and the contents of several bank accounts – but deadlocked charges from the previous trial would be dismissed.
It was the first criminal trial arising from the justice department’s investigation into alleged Russian interference in the presidential elections.
However, the charges related only to Manafort’s political consulting with pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine, largely pre-dating his role with the Trump campaign.
The White House has insisted that the guilty plea had absolutely nothing to do with President Trump.