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Mueller Considers New Charges for Manafort

The hectic pace of developments continues
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 30, 2018 11:44 AM CST
In this May 23, 2018, photo, Paul Manafort leaves the Federal District Court after a hearing in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

(Newser) – The special counsel in the Russia investigation is still considering filing new charges against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort after his plea deal fell apart over allegations of lying to investigators, prosecutors said Friday. The development in Manafort's case comes at a time of frenetic activity in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation as prosecutors obtained a guilty plea from President Trump's longtime fixer and appear to be lining up charges against another Trump supporter. Prosecutors this week revealed that Manafort's plea deal had fallen apart after they say he repeatedly lied to investigators. They also signaled that they could pursue additional charges against Manafort, but on Friday prosecutor Andrew Weissmann told US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson that the special counsel was still deciding that question.

Jackson ordered prosecutors to disclose more details about the false-statements allegations by next Friday. The move comes as Trump is facing questions about whether he will pardon Manafort and as he is attempting to downplay the guilty plea of his former fixer and lawyer, Michael Cohen, for lying to Congress. None of the recent moves directly accuse the president of any criminal wrongdoing or indicate that the president faces legal jeopardy. But Trump has continually surfaced in Mueller's investigation, with references to him in Cohen's plea on Thursday and in a draft plea offer extended to conservative writer and conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi. Corsi, who rejected the plea deal, said he expects to be charged by Mueller with lying to investigators as part of the probe's scrutiny of WikiLeaks and its release of thousands of hacked Democratic emails.

(Read more Robert Mueller stories.)

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