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Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Special Counsel Robert Mueller revealed Friday that the former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort lied to the FBI and the Special Counsel's Office about his contact with administration officials, a Russian political consultant, a wire transfer, and information related to another DOJ investigation.

Why it matters: These are the "principal" lies Manafort made that ruined his plea agreement with Mueller. The document shows how much Mueller knows about the investigation’s witnesses and their conduct, and could serve as a warning shot to other witnesses not to lie or tell partial truths — which includes the president, who has already submitted his written statement to Mueller’s team.

Mueller's team is prepared to provide evidence of Manafort's lies at a hearing that includes "testimonial evidence," as well as "electronic communications," including at least one text message, and "travel records."

The lies

Administration contact: Mueller claims that after signing his plea agreement, Manafort said he had no direct or indirect communications with anyone in the Trump administration, when in fact:

  • According to a "Manafort colleague," he had been in contact with an administration official through February 2018.
  • He authorized someone to talk with the administration on his behalf via text in May 2018 — while under indictment.

He made inconsistent statements about a $125,000 payment made that he said was at once a repayment of a debt owed to Manafort, that it was his income, and that it was a loan.

Konstantin Kilimnik, a longtime business partner who is suspected of being a Russian intelligence operative, was charged along with Manafort earlier this year with conspiracy and obstruction of justice in an alleged attempt to influence other testimonies in the investigation. Manafort at first denied that Kilimnik was involved in witness tampering, but later conceded that he was.

  • Manafort also lied about a meeting with Kilimnik, details of which are redacted.

What's next: Mueller’s team has requested they be allowed to file in the future about Manafort’s lies under seal.

Go deeper: Read the filing

Go deeper

Trump grants flurry of last-minute pardons

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty

President Trump issued 73 pardons and commuted the sentences of 70 individuals early Wednesday, 11 hours from leaving office.

Why it matters: It's a last-minute gift to some of the president's loyalists and an evident use of executive power with only hours left of his presidency. Axios reported in December that Trump planned to grant pardons to "every person who ever talked to me."

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump revokes ethics order barring former aides from lobbying

Photo: Spencer Platt via Getty

Shortly after pardoning members of Congress and lobbyists convicted on corruption charges, President Trump revoked an executive order barring former officials from lobbying for five years after leaving his administration.

Why it matters: The order, which was signed eight days after he took office, was an attempt to fulfill his campaign promise to "drain the swamp."

  • But with less than 12 hours left in office, Trump has now removed those limitations on his own aides.

Trump pardons former GOP fundraiser Elliott Broidy

President Trump has pardoned Elliott Broidy, a former top Republican fundraiser who pleaded guilty late last year to conspiring to violate foreign lobbying laws as part of a campaign to sway the administration on behalf of Chinese and Malaysian interests.

Why it matters: Broidy was a deputy finance chair for the Republican National Committee early in Trump’s presidency, and attempted to leverage his influence in the Trump administration on behalf of his clients. The president's decision to pardon Broidy represents one last favor for a prominent political ally.

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