Things may yet get worse for Paul Manafort.
Special counsel Robert Mueller hasn’t decided yet whether he will bring additional charges against the former Trump campaign chairman accused of breaching his plea agreement by lying to investigators, a Mueller prosecutor said Friday in federal court in Washington.
The comments came in a hearing in front of U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson to schedule Manafort’s sentencing, after the plea agreement fell apart.
Berman Jackson tentatively scheduled Manafort’s sentencing for March 5 on one count of conspiracy against the United States and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice. She gave prosecutors a Dec. 7 deadline to file a report on the circumstances of Manafort’s alleged breach of the plea agreement.
Both the prosecution and the defense requested that Berman Jackson issue a ruling on whether Manafort breached his plea agreement before the probation office issues its final pre-sentence report.
Andrew Weissman, the prosecutor representing the special counsel in court on Friday, told Jackson that prosecutors are prepared to submit details on their allegation that Manafort lied to federal investigators quickly.
Kevin Downing, Manafort’s lead attorney, suggested to Jackson that he had little information on the alleged breach and was unsure how much time the defense would need to respond to the government or whether the defense would need to formally object to the breach accusation.
“There are a lot of unknowns for us,” Downing said.
Yet Weissman told Jackson that prosecutors had already discussed the facts with the defense, though prosecutors were “obviously not saying in open court what the information is.”
Jackson told the courtroom at the beginning of the hearing that she would not be asking for details on Manafort’s alleged breach of the plea agreement yet.
The hearing Friday was short on details and heavy on procedural back and forth about scheduling and sentencing guidelines. After Berman Jackson quizzed each side on any motions or filings they may issue, as well as their scheduling preferences, it became clear that both sides preferred for Berman Jackson to first rule on Manafort’s alleged breach of the plea deal.
“We are in agreement on this matter,” Berman Jackson said toward the end of the hearing before setting preliminary dates. “Congratulations!”
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