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U.S. federal judge rules ex-Trump campaign manager Manafort lied to Mueller

(Xinhua)    10:59, February 14, 2019

WASHINGTON, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- A federal judge on Wednesday ruled that Paul Manafort, U.S. President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, breached his plea agreement by intentionally lying to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the FBI and the grand jury.

Manafort "intentionally made multiple false statements" concerning matters related to Mueller's probe into the alleged Russia meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections, said Judge Amy Berman Jackson in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

At a closed-door hearing, the judge said there was a "preponderance" of evidence that Manafort lied on three different topics, including his communications with his former business partner Konstantin Kilimnik, according to local media reports.

The ruling voids the federal government's obligations under Manafort's plea deal to offer him leniency in exchange for his cooperation in the Mueller probe. It also means that Manafort will not be credited for his cooperation with prosecutors.

Manafort, aged 69, was a veteran Republican lobbyist. He joined Trump's campaign team in March 2016 and spent three months as Trump's campaign chairman until mid-August of that year. He was convicted in a Virginia federal court trial on charges of tax and bank fraud last year and pleaded guilty in Washington D.C. on others.

Manafort was scheduled to be sentenced in Washington D.C. on March 13. Local media said he was also awaiting a sentencing date in Virginia.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: He Zhuoyan, Bianji)

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