Paul Manafort sentencing scheduled for March 5 as prosecutors weigh more charges

November 30, 2018 GMT

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., on Friday set a tentative sentencing date of March 5 for Paul Manafort as prosecutors with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team indicated they will pursue more charges against the one-time chairman of President Trump’s campaign.

The new charges will likely be related to allegations from Mueller’s team that Manafort violated his plea agreement by “repeatedly lying” to the special counsel’s office and federal investigators.

“With respect to additional charges, that decision has not been made,” Mueller prosecutor Andrew Weissmann told U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson.

Mr. Weissmann also indicated the government could retry Manafort on some of the charges a federal jury in Alexandria, Virginia, deadlocked on during his financial fraud trial earlier this year.

Judge Jackson also scheduled a Dec. 7 deadline for the government to submit a report on allegations that Manafort breached his plea deal. A hearing on the matter will likely occur in January, Judge Jackson said.

As part of Manafort’s pact with the special counsel’s office, he agreed to plead guilty to reduced charges and cooperate with federal prosecutors. But on Monday, Mr. Mueller’s team said he did not honor the deal.

“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.

Manafort’s attorneys disputed that claim, saying in a court document that he “believes he has provided truthful information and does not agree with the government’s characterization.”

Manafort, who is currently jailed in Alexandria, waived his appearance for the hearing. He was represented by his attorneys Kevin Downing and Thomas Zehnle.

Manafort pleaded guilty in October to two charges of conspiracy and witness tampering but also admitted he violated financial and lobbying crimes. In a separate trial in Alexandria, a federal jury found him guilty on eight financial fraud charges related to the money earned as lobbyist in the Ukraine.

Earlier this week, President Trump said a pardon for Manafort was “not off the table.”

Manafort’s sentencing date comes one day after Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer and longtime fixer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress.