By Sharon LaFraniere
New York Times News Service
WASHINGTON — A federal judge ruled on Wednesday that Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, repeatedly lied to prosecutors after he agreed to cooperate with the special counsel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
The decision by Judge Amy Berman Jackson of U.S. District Court may affect the sentence she hands out in the coming weeks to Manafort, 69. Jackson said that Manafort had intentionally lied about his contacts with a Russian associate during the campaign and after Trump was elected.
Prosecutors have said that the associate, Konstantin Kilimnik, has ties to Russian intelligence services. The judge also found that Manafort had lied about a payment that was routed through a pro-Trump political action committee to cover his legal bills, and about information relevant to another undisclosed investigation underway at the Justice Department.
Manafort was convicted last year of eight felonies, including tax and bank fraud. He later pleaded guilty to two additional conspiracy counts in a case before Jackson and agreed at that point to cooperate with prosecutors from the office of the special counsel, Robert Mueller.
Jackson ruled in Manafort’s favor on two issues. She decided that prosecutors had failed to prove their assertion that Manafort had deceived them about Kilimnik’s role in a conspiracy to obstruct justice to which Manafort pleaded guilty. And she decided that the prosecutors had failed to establish that Manafort had lied about later contacts with Trump administration officials.