The rise and fall of President Trump's former confidante and campaign manager Paul Manafort late Friday took another step into the corruption abyss.
As has become a typical response from the Trump administration in all things Manafort, the White House issued a statement Friday night distancing the president from the Manafort cases.
A 10-page, late afternoon court filing by special counsel Robert Mueller was a listing of lies that he says Manafort told authorities after he had cut a plea bargain with prosecutors that required him to tell the truth.
Manafort told the special counsel "multiple discernible lies" during interviews, allegedly including lies about his contacts with a Russian national linked to Russian intelligence.
"The government's filing in Manafort's case says absolutely nothing about the President," White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders said in a statement. "It says even less about collusion and is devoted almost entirely to lobbying-related issues. Once again the media is trying to create a story where there isn't one."
While a portion of the filing is under seal, the public portions detail Manafort's lies about Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian employee of Manafort's political consulting firm.
Kilimnik, a longtime Ukraine-based business associate of Manafort and Manafort's ex-business partner Rick Gates, was identified by the special counsel as a former Russian intelligence operative when he was indicted in June.
Manafort worked with Kilimnik as recently as last year, when Kilimnik helped him write a positive opinion article published in Ukraine to burnish Manafort's image. That article was a violation of a court-imposed gag order, for which the judge admonished Manafort.
The Friday filing also laid out Manafort's alleged lies about a $125,000 payment toward a debt. Manafort allegedly changed his story concerning a related investigation and claimed that he had no continuing contact with the Trump administration when he in fact did, prosecutors said.
"After signing the plea agreement, Manafort stated he had no direct or indirect communications with anyone in the Administration while they were in the Administration and that he never asked anyone to try to communicate a message to anyone in the Administration on any subject matter," prosecutors stated in the filing.
Lawyers for Manafort have until Wednesday, December 12, to respond to the government. As of early Friday evening, they had not made a public statement regarding Mueller's filing.
Paul Manafort facing new charges of lying in special counsel filing
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