Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has breached his plea deal by lying to federal investigators, according to a court filing, in a potential setback to the special counsel's probe into Russia's meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election. The pardon hope may very well be what Manafort's driving at and it could occur, but we also have to ask what all of this does for Mueller. Monday's filing in Washington federal court was eagerly anticipated after the sides sought a 10-day extension to report on Manafort's cooperation - a tight window that led some observers to speculate that Manafort had delivered information that could lead to charges against others in Trump's circle.
"He believes he has provided truthful information and does not agree with the government's characterization or that he has breached the agreement", the document states.
Paul Manafort, former campaign chairman for US President Donald Trump.
But Manafort, too, called for the judge, Amy Berman Jackson, to set a sentencing date.
Manafort lied "on a variety of subject matters", violating his plea agreement, prosecutors said in a three-page filing signed by both the defense team and prosecution.
In the plea deal, Manafort plead guilty to conspiracy against the USA and obstruction of justice, related to allegations of witness tampering.
Special counsel Robert Mueller is accusing former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort of lying to federal investigators in the Russian Federation probe, in breach of his plea agreement.
Russia 'fires on and seizes Ukraine ships'
"[The Russians] shoot to kill", the press service of Ukraine's Navy said on Facebook at 20:28 local time on November 25 . The incident came amid a confrontation at sea between Ukrainian and Russian vessels.
The timing of the Manafort status update is worth noting in its own right - seriously, it feels like it was only just yesterday that President Trump supplied written answers to Mueller's questions "regarding the Russia-related topics of the inquiry".
Manafort is denying that he lied.
Russian Federation denies USA allegations it hacked Democratic Party emails and ran a disinformation campaign, largely on social media.
As part of his plea agreement, Manafort pledged to "co-operate fully, truthfully, completely, and forthrightly" with the government "in any and all matters" prosecutors deemed necessary.
Manafort has been held in a detention centre in Virginia since June. Sentencing in that case is scheduled for February 8. It's not clear how Monday's development might affect his situation there.
"A breach relieves the government of any obligations it has under the agreement, including its agreement to a reduction in the sentencing guidelines for acceptance of responsibility, but leaves intact all the obligations of the defendant as well as his guilty pleas", Mueller wrote.
The filing came after Manafort talked in detail to prosecutors before his plea, and despite numerous visits by him and his lawyers to prosecutors' offices.