US President Donald Trump intensified his attacks Tuesday on the special counsel probing possible collusion between Russian Federation and his 2016 electoral campaign, after prosecutors said his former campaign chairman lied to investigators.
Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman of Donald Trump, violated his plea agreement by lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the special counsel Robert Mueller's office "on a variety of subject matters", according to a court filing.
The Special Counsel's office has said that it would provide more details at a later date.
Manafort had been meeting with the special counsel's office since he pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy against the USA and conspiracy to obstruct justice.
In this photo July 21, 2016, photo, then-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, right, watches with then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Manafort's chief deputy Rick Gates, left, as Ivanka Trump rehearses for the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
As part of his plea deal, Manafort admitted to committing a host of money laundering and foreign lobbying crimes and fraud, giving the federal prosecutors leverage over him. He has been held in solitary confinement at a detention center in Virginia.
In some of his strongest language yet against the investigation he has long labelled a "witch hunt, ' the USA president called Mueller "a conflicted prosecutor gone rogue".
In exchange for his cooperation to answer questions "fully, truthfully, completely, and forthrightly", some of the charges against Manafort were dropped and prosecutors could have asked for a lighter prison term. "This has absolutely nothing to do - this is a witch hunt, and it's a disgrace", Trump told reporters in August. Except for one aspect of their bank fraud case, in which Manafort appeared to dangle access to the Trump campaign in exchange for a bank loan, the cases did not publicly describe Manafort's work as campaign chairman.
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The news of Manafort's lack of cooperation came in the form of a court filing by federal prosecutors on Monday.
So what did Manafort lie about?
The last minute breakthrough in Manafort's case indicates the aggressive approach of Robert Mueller in the investigations against the Russian meddling in the 2016 Presidential elections, and to expose anyone in the Trump campaign who was aware of or assisted Moscow's effort. But special counsel prosecutors were "not getting what they want", one source with knowledge of the discussions said.
Russian Federation denies USA allegations it hacked Democratic Party emails and ran a disinformation campaign, largely on social media.
"[Mueller's team will say], 'Here's what he told us, here's what we have to contradict him, here's why what we have to contradict him is the truth, here's what he said is a lie, '" Napolitano said.
Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani (joo-lee-AH'-nee) had previously suggested Manafort and others could be eligible for pardons at the end of Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.
Trump's tweet this morning seems to try to shift blame away from Manafort and toward Robert Mueller, which could intentionally be a means of setting his base up for a future pardon.