UPDATED: 2019/02/14 12:00 PM
Paul Manafort finds himself without the safe haven of a plea deal today. As Judge Amy Berman Jackson explains, Manafort “made multiple false statements to the FBI, the OSC and the grand jury concerning matters that were material to the [Robert Mueller led] investigation,” including his contacts with his Russian associate during the campaign and later.
Manafort was convicted of a litany of financial crimes in August, and cut the original deal to plead guilty to two charges of conspiracy and witness tampering in September. However, Judge Jackson determined that Manafort intentionally lied about $125,000 he received for the legal bills, about another Justice Department criminal investigation, and about his interactions with his longtime Russian associate, Konstantin Kilimnik, while and after he was campaign chairman.
Even though is deal is off the table, Manafort is still bound by what he agreed to in the plea. He is unable to retract his guilty pleas, and the finding frees Mueller’s office from its contractual obligations stipulated in the plea, like asking for a reduced sentence for Manafort because of his cooperation.