The special counsel filed a memo Friday revealing more about what former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort lied about when he was supposed to be cooperating with federal investigators. His cooperation with the government was part of a plea agreement to avoid his second trial, focused in part on allegations related to money laundering and his foreign lobbying.
The special counsel said that his lies to federal investigators were not simply "memory lapses" on the part of Manafort.
According to the special counsel's memo, Manafort lied about several things in breach of his plea deal, including his contact with Konstantin Kilimnik, who ran Manafort's office in Kiev. Kilimnik, who has ties to Russian intelligence, was indicted in June. Much of the information about Kilimnik was redacted in the filing, although Manafort admitted he conspired with Kilimnik to obstruct justice.
The special counsel also alleged that Manafort lied about a payment made toward a debt incurred by him to a firm that was working for him in 2017. According to the filing, he also provided false information to the Justice Department about another investigation.
And while Manafort said he had no "direct or indirect communications" with anyone in the Trump administration and never "asked anyone to try to communicate a message to anyone in the Administration," the special counsel says he was lying about this, too. He asked someone to speak with an administration official on his behalf by text on May 26, 2018 and had been in communication with a senior administration official through February 2018.
Manafort met with the special counsel and the FBI on 12 occasions, three prior to his guilty plea. He also testified twice before the grand jury on October 26 and November 2.
In its indictment of Manafort and Kilimnik in June, the special counsel office found that Manafort, with the assistance of aide Rick Gates, Kilimnik, and others, engaged in a multimillion dollar lobbying campaign in the United States at the direction of Ukrainian officials. Manafort and Kilimnik did so without registering and providing the disclosures required by law.
In late November, the special counsel said that Manafort had breached his plea agreement with the government by lying to federal investigators. Manafort was convicted of various financial crimes in August before reaching an agreement in September to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.
Manafort's attorneys maintained at the time that he believed he had provided truthful information and didn't agree that he had violated his plea agreement.
Attorneys for Manafort wrote in the filing that Manafort "has provided information to the government in an effort to live up to his cooperation obligations."
Manafort was convicted on eight out of 18 counts of financial crimes including bank fraud and tax fraud in federal court in Virginia in August. Prosecutors alleged Manafort hid tens of millions of dollars in overseas income over several decades, including his time as chairman of the Trump campaign in 2016. President Trump has consistently and repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
In a tweet appearing to refer to the various memos released Friday night, Mr. Trump wrote, "Totally clears the President. Thank you!"
Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that the filing "says absolutely nothing about the President."
"It says even less about collusion and is devoted almost entirely to lobbying-related issues. Once again the media is trying to create a story where there isn't one," she said.
Clare Hymes contributed reporting