- The Washington Times - Friday, December 7, 2018

Special counsel Robert Mueller on Friday said former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort lied about five major issues during his cooperation.

But none of those lies point to Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.

“Totally clears the president. Thank you!” Mr. Trump tweeted shortly after the filing.

Mr. Mueller’s team said last month that Manafort, who pleaded guilty in September and promised to cooperate with prosecutors, had lied “on a variety of subject matters.”

In the Friday filing, Mr. Mueller offered more details on Manafort’s alleged misstatements. They say he lied about his dealings with Konstantin Kilimnik, a wire transfer to a company working for Manafort, information related to another Justice Department investigation and Manafort’s contacts with administration officials.

But the heavily redacted 10-page memorandum did not offer much new information. For example, Mr. Mueller does not say what Manafort lied about in regards to Mr. Kilimnik.

As for the $125,000 wire payment, Mr. Mueller said Manafort made several inconsistent statements about the reason for the funds. Manafort said the money was repayment of a debt, but it is not clear how that differs from what the special counsel’s officer uncovered.

Mr. Mueller also does not disclose which Justice Department investigation was affected by the alleged misstatements beyond saying it was “in another district.” Manafort changed his recollection of events, according to the court filing.

Manafort also told Mueller he had not contacted anyone in the Trump administration. But the special counsel said Mueller exchanged texts with at least one administration official and had been in communication with another “senior administration official” through February 2018.

Manafort’s legal team has pushed back on prosecutors’ claims he violated his plea deal. They have two weeks to respond to Mr. Mueller’s filing.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said last week she may schedule a hearing before deciding whether to void the plea agreement for Manafort, who could find himself facing additional charges if that happens.

The plea deal was part of Manafort’s September agreement to plead guilty to lesser charges in Washington in exchange for avoiding a trial. He also agreed to cooperate with an attorney as part of that pact.

Manafort was convicted on bank and tax fraud charges in September in a separate Virginia trial. He has been in jail since the summer.

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