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Former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort faces 24 years in prison for lying to Russia investigation

A judge ruled this month that Manafort “intentionally” lied about contacts with a suspected Russian operative.

Paul Manafort (file photo)
Paul Manafort (file photo)
Image: PA Images

THE FORMER HEAD of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign could serve up to 24 years in prison for violating a plea deal with Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

Mueller’s office said it agreed with a calculation by the Department of Justice that Paul Manafort should face “235 to 293 months, a fine range of $50,000 to $24,371,497.74, a term of supervised release of up to five years, restitution in the amount of $24,815,108.74, and forfeiture in the amount of $4,412,500″, a court filing said.

Earlier this month, federal district judge Amy Berman Jackson agreed with prosecutors that Manafort had “intentionally” lied to investigators about his contacts with a suspected Russian operative Konstantin Kilimnik in 2016 and 2017.

Jackson also ruled that Manafort had lied about a secretive payment he made to a law firm, and lied on another occasion when investigators queried him about a separate investigation related to the Mueller probe.

The ruling means that Mueller no longer has to abide by a plea deal, in which Manafort agreed to plead guilty to two reduced conspiracy charges which carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Manafort is one of seven former Trump campaign associates who have been charged by Mueller’s team.

He was convicted in August in a Virginia court on eight charges of banking and tax fraud related to his work for Russia-backed political parties in Ukraine between 2004 and 2014.

He was separately charged in Washington with money laundering, witness tampering and other offenses, which were consolidated into the two conspiracy charges in the plea bargain.

- © AFP 2019

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