Manafort attorneys file answers to Mueller claims under seal

Attorneys for President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump orders US troops back to active duty for coronavirus response Trump asserts power to decide info inspector general for stimulus gives Congress Fighting a virus with the wrong tools MORE’s former campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortJuan Williams: Will the GOP ever curb Trump? Nadler seeks interviews with DOJ prosecutors that left Stone case Stone judge under pressure over calls for new trial MORE last night filed under seal responses to special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE’s accusations that Manafort breached a plea agreement by lying to federal prosecutors, a Manafort spokesman tells The Hill.

As of early Tuesday morning, it appeared that they had possibly missed a court-ordered deadline to reply to the claims. 

A filing responding to the claims was due Monday, but the midnight deadline came and went without any submission appearing on the court’s docket. The Manafort spokesman says that the document was filed under seal. Attorneys normally announce their intention to file under seal and it was not reflected in the document.

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Mueller in November accused Manafort of lying to the FBI and the special counsel’s office on a variety of subject matters, including Manafort's contacts with Trump administration officials; his interactions with an associate who has suspected ties to Russian intelligence; the associate's role in tampering with witnesses; a $125,000 payment made to a firm working for Manafort; and information he provided related to another Justice Department investigation.

In a court hearing in December, Manafort’s attorneys had said they may not contest Mueller’s claims, which they had initially denied.

Prosecutors on Mueller’s team at the time told Judge Amy Berman Jackson, an Obama appointee overseeing Manafort’s case in the federal District Court for the District of Columbia, that they were considering bringing new charges against Manafort for the crimes he committed by breaching the deal.

Berman Jackson has scheduled March 5 as a tentative date to sentence Manafort to the two felonies he pleaded guilty to as part of the plea agreement, which allowed him to avoid a second criminal trial in return for his full cooperation in the Mueller’s Russia investigation.

Monday’s filing is the latest flashpoint in Manafort’s case and comes well over a year after Mueller first charged him with a series of offenses related to his lobbying on behalf of a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine.

A jury in Alexandria, Va., convicted Manafort of eight counts of bank and tax fraud over the summer.

Manafort was viewed as a key witness for Mueller as he investigates Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, but Manafort's cooperation with the probe was short-lived.

Updated at 10:50 a.m. after Manafort's spokesman confirmed documents had been filed.