Members of the defense team for Paul Manafort, Kevin Downing, center, and Thomas Zehnle, center right, depart the federal court following a hearing in the criminal case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in Alexandria, Va., Friday,
Members of the defense team for Paul Manafort, Kevin Downing, center, and Thomas Zehnle, center right, depart the federal court following a hearing in the criminal case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in Alexandria, Va., Friday,

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort broke his plea agreement with U.S. federal prosecutors by lying to investigators, special counsel Robert Mueller's office alleged late Monday.

Manafort, who faces up to 10 years in prison for various financial crimes, had agreed to cooperate with investigators looking into possible collusion between  President Donald Trump's campaign and Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

In exchange for his cooperation to answer questions "fully, truthfully, completely and forthrightly," some of the charges against Manafort were dropped and prosecutors could have asked for a lighter prison term.  

But Mueller's office says Manafort broke his promise and also broke federal law with "crimes and lies."

Trump Russia Probe Manafort
Special Counsel: Manafort Lied to FBI
Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort lied to the FBI and special counsel investigators after pleading guilty to federal charges, breaching his plea agreement, according to a court filing on Monday. Manafort said in the same filing he disagreed with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's assertion that he lied to investigators. Both the special counsel and Manafort's attorneys agreed there was no reason to delay his sentencing and asked the court to set a date for that. Mueller, who is…

It did not specify what Manafort lied about, but promised to provide details at a later time. Manafort's attorneys denied the allegations.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Trump continued his attacks on the Mueller probe, claiming that the U.S. national news media "builds Bob Mueller up as a Saint, when in actuality he is the exact opposite. He is doing TREMENDOUS damage to our Criminal Justice System, where he is only looking at one side and not the other. Heroes will come of this, and it won’t be Mueller and his terrible Gang of Angry Democrats."


"Wait until it comes out how horribly & viciously they are treating people, ruining lives for them refusing to lie," Trump said. "Mueller is a conflicted prosecutor gone rogue."

Despite Trump's views on Mueller, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said later that the president "has no intent of doing anything" to fire Mueller and that there are no discussions of pardoning Manafort.

"He knows there was no wrongdoing" on his part, she said of Trump. "There was no collusion" between his campaign and Russia.

The developments in the Manafort case could mean some of the charges against him that were dropped could be reinstated, while prosecutors are no longer likely to ask for a lighter sentence.

Manafort is in jail awaiting sentence, which both sides now say there is no reason to delay.

Another Trump associate, former foreign affairs adviser George Papadopoulos, began serving a 14-day prison term Monday for lying to investigators in the Russian probe.

A federal judge rejected his appeal to delay his prison term while he waited for an appeals court to rule on whether the Mueller appointment was constitutional.

Trump-Russia Probe-Congress
Former Trump Aide Ordered to Start Serving 14-day Jail Term
A one-time foreign affairs adviser to then-Presidential candidate Donald Trump has been ordered to start serving a 14-day jail term on Monday for lying to investigators about his role in Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S. election.George Papadopoulos had sought to delay his brief sentence while awaiting an appellate court ruling in a separate case challenging the constitutionality of the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller, whose ongoing investigation of Trump campaign aides' links to…

Judge Randolph Moss reminded Papadopoulos that he had already waived his right to an appeal and that two other judges had upheld the legality of the Mueller appointment.

Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to investigators in January 2017 about the extent of his contacts with people who had connections with Russia.

Trump has consistently called the Mueller probe a "witch hunt" and strongly denies any collusion with Russia in the 2016 presidential election.