In one beforehand reported case, as an example, an obscure Ukrainian lawmaker, Andrii V. Artemenko, labored with two associates of Mr. Trump’s, Felix Sater and Michael D. Cohen, to ship one Ukraine “peace plan” to the White House. The plan landed on the desk of Michael T. Flynn, the president’s first nationwide safety adviser, simply earlier than he was compelled to resign.
In an interview on Tuesday, Mr. Artemenko mentioned that investigators working for Mr. Mueller had questioned him extensively about his efforts to advertise that plan. Mr. Artemenko mentioned he knew neither Mr. Manafort nor Mr. Kilimnik and confused that his plan was completely different from theirs.
Prosecutors have accused Mr. Manafort of mendacity not solely about his interactions with Mr. Kilimnik, however about different issues, together with his contacts with senior administration officers in early 2017 and a cost associated to a pro-Trump political motion committee to cowl his authorized bills. In November, after a dozen conferences with Mr. Manafort, they broke off the plea settlement with him, citing what they mentioned was a collection of lies.
In their submitting, Mr. Manafort’s protection legal professionals mentioned that Mr. Manafort by no means deliberately misled federal authorities. Instead, they solid him as a sick man — troubled by “severe” gout, in addition to by melancholy and nervousness — who made misstatements as a result of of a defective reminiscence and lack of entry to his personal information.
They however mentioned that they’d not search a listening to to problem the prosecutors’ accusations that he lied, a choice that brings Mr. Manafort one step nearer to being sentenced for his crimes.
The choice to not search a listening to mirrored the dearth of authorized selections for Mr. Manafort, 69, who has been in jail in Northern Virginia since mid-June. One prosecution resulted in his jury conviction in August for financial institution fraud, tax fraud and different monetary crimes. A second led to his responsible plea in September on two conspiracy costs, together with one stemming from a witness-tampering scheme with Mr. Kilimnik. Mr. Manafort faces at the very least 10 years in jail.
The plea settlement provides the prosecutors the ability to nearly unilaterally determine whether or not Mr. Manafort has violated it. Unless Mr. Manafort can present they acted in unhealthy religion — a excessive bar — their judgment stands. The prosecutors may additionally determine to file new costs in opposition to Mr. Manafort for mendacity to them, however apparently they don’t plan to take action, in response to Tuesday’s submitting.
“They have him so deeply in the soup here that what both sides are almost saying is that this doesn’t matter,” mentioned Nancy Gertner, a Harvard Law School professor.