Paul Manafort is expected to get a sentencing date Friday, as his attorneys and prosecutors for special counsel Robert Mueller III return to a Washington, D.C., federal court amid accusations the former Trump campaign chairman breached his plea deal.
Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia will consider setting a possible sentencing date for Manafort days after prosecutors accused him of violating his September plea agreement by repeatedly lying in interviews with the special counsel and federal investigators.
Manafort, currently jailed in Alexandria, Virginia, has waived his appearance for Friday’s hearing. He is represented by attorneys Kevin Downing, Richard Westling and Thomas Zehnle.
Manafort first entered into a plea deal with prosecutors in September, heading off a jury trial in Washington, D.C., on criminal charges related to his past foreign lobbying work for Ukraine. As part of the deal, he pleaded guilty to reduced charge, and agreed to cooperate “fully, truthfully, completely, and forthrightly” with the U.S.
“After signing the plea agreement, Manafort committed federal crimes by lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Special Counsel’s Office on a variety of subject matters, which constitute breaches of the agreement,” prosecutors wrote in Monday’s court filing.
Defense attorneys pushed back against the claim he outright lied, writing in the court document that Manafort “believes he has provided truthful information and does not agree with the government’s characterization or that he has breached the agreement.”
Citing the rift in the matter, Manafort’s attorneys also asked Jackson for a sentencing date.
Jackson could press for more details about Manafort’s conduct Friday. However, Mueller’s office plans to lay out his alleged behavior in a filing with the court before his sentencing.
If Jackson ultimately finds that Manafort lied, it could lengthen his sentence. Manafort, 69, already faces a substantial prison term.
A federal jury in Alexandria, Virginia, found him guilty in August of eight counts of financial fraud. They deadlocked on 10 other charges, resulting in a mistrial on those counts. Manafort will be sentenced there in February.