Attorneys for Paul Manafort on Wednesday disputed allegations he intentionally lied to investigators working with special counsel Robert Mueller.
In a heavily redacted court filing, Manafort’s legal team told a federal judge that when “placed in the proper context,” his statements merely demonstrate “a lack of consistency” to remember facts that occurred years ago or during a high-pressure presidential campaign.
The new filing from Manafort’s defense team is in response to court filings by Mr. Mueller’s team last week, which detailed their accusations that Manafort lied to federal investigators.
Mr. Mueller said Manafort lied to prosecutors during 12 interviews, violating a plea agreement he entered in September in which he pledged to cooperate with the special counsel.
Prosecutors said Manafort lied when he said he not maintained contact with people in the Trump administration; misrepresented his discussions with a longtime business associate who is said to be a former Russian intelligence officer, and made false statements about the source of a $125,000 payment from a political action committee during the 2016 presidential campaign.
If U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson concludes Manafort lied to prosecutors, he could face up to 80 years in prison. A hearing is set for Friday to suss out whether Manafort in fact lied.
Manafort pleaded guilty in September in a Washington, D.C., federal court to tax fraud, witness tampering and violating foreign lobbying laws.
He was also convicted by a jury in a separate case in Virginia on bank and tax fraud crimes.
• Jeff Mordock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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