WASHINGTON - U.S. President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort lied to federal investigators about a payment and contacts with Trump administration officials, the U.S. special counsel investigating whether Trump's 2016 campaign colluded with Russia said in a court filing on Friday.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office submitted the filing to a U.S. District Court judge in Washington who had asked for more details on Mueller's allegations last month that Manafort had breached a plea agreement by lying.
"In his interviews with the Special Counsel's Office and the FBI, Manafort told multiple discernible lies -- these were not instances of mere memory lapses," Mueller's office said in the filing.
According to the filing, Manafort lied about his interactions with Russian-Ukranian political consultant Konstantin Kilimnik, Kilimnik's efforts to tamper with witnesses, the circumstances surrounding a $125,000 payment to a firm working for Manafort, and Manafort's contacts with officials in the Trump administration.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders released a statement late Friday, saying, “The government’s filing in Mr. Manafort’s case says absolutely nothing about the President. It says even less about collusion and is devoted almost entirely to lobbying-related issues. Once again the media is trying to create a story where there isn’t one.”
Manafort also provided investigators with shifting accounts about information relevant to another Department of Justice investigation.
The filing also said that Manafort, who maintains he has been truthful to Mueller, appeared before a grand jury twice.