Manafort attorney relayed info about Mueller probe to Trump lawyers: report

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortPaul Manafort's former son-in-law sentenced to 9 years in prison for scamming Dustin Hoffman, others NSC official testified there was 'no doubt' Trump pushed quid pro quo Prosecutor says Stone lied to Congress to protect Trump as trial opens MORE's attorney repeatedly spoke with the president's lawyers about discussions with federal investigators after Manafort agreed to cooperate with special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSpeier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump Gowdy: I '100 percent' still believe public congressional hearings are 'a circus' Comey: Mueller 'didn't succeed in his mission because there was inadequate transparency' MORE, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

Rudy Giuliani, who represents Trump in the special counsel's investigation, confirmed the arrangement to the newspaper and argued that the conversations provided valuable insight.

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Giuliani said Manafort's lawyer, Kevin Downing, relayed that investigators pressed Manafort on what Trump knew about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Trump campaign associates and a Russian lawyer who had promised dirt on then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton3 ways government can help clean up Twitter Intelligence Democrat: Stop using 'quid pro quo' to describe Trump allegations The Memo: Bloomberg's 2020 moves draw ire from Democrats MORE.

“He wants Manafort to incriminate Trump,” Giuliani claimed to the Times, referring to Mueller.

Trump's legal team has maintained a joint defense agreement with witnesses in Mueller's investigations, including Manafort. However, it is uncommon for those agreements to continue after a witness reaches a plea agreement with prosecutors, the Times reported.

Downing did not respond to a request for comment from the Times.

Mueller's team said in a court filing on Monday night that Manafort had violated the terms of his plea agreement by lying to federal prosecutors about a number of topics.

Mueller’s team asked the judge in Manafort's case to schedule a date for sentencing.

Manafort was convicted on eight counts of bank and tax fraud over the summer in a case in Northern Virginia. He agreed to cooperate with Mueller in September to avoid a second, separate federal trial in Washington, D.C., but now faces jail time if he is found to have lied to prosecutors.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that she was unaware of discussions about a possible pardon for Manafort.

In an interview with The Washington Post on Tuesday, Trump declined to speak about Manafort's situation on the record. He told the newspaper that he had "no intention" of curtailing the special counsel's investigation, despite his repeated verbal attacks against Mueller.

The president, who regularly decries the Mueller investigation as a "witch hunt," lambasted the special counsel on Tuesday morning as a "conflicted prosecutor gone rogue" and later referred to his probe as a "disgrace."

In addition to Manafort, Mueller's investigation has implicated former Trump associates Michael Flynn, George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosThe Hill's Campaign Report: Red-state governors races pose test for Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Better Medicare Alliance - Dems unveil impeachment measure; Vindman splits GOP George Papadopoulos launches campaign to run for Katie Hill's congressional seat MORE and Richard Gates. The special counsel has also obtained indictments against more than 20 Russian nationals.