UPDATE: According to Zoe Tillman of BuzzFeed News, Manafort’s spokesman Jason Maloni says that the submission which was due at midnight this morning, was actually filed yesterday, but it’s “under seal”.
Paul Manafort’s lawyers had until midnight on Tuesday to file a response to the special counsel’s office claims that he lied during his cooperation sessions while talking to Robert Mueller’s team about possible Russia collusion. It appears that Manafort’s team did not enter a response.
The special counsel’s office has indicated that Manafort lied about five topics during his conversations with Mueller’s team after his guilty plea, CNN reported.
CNN acknowledged that it is possible Manafort’s legal team filed the response under seal, however, under these circumstances, it would typically be stated in the case docket that the document was filed secretly. Manafort’s docket shows no such announcement.
Among the five subjects Manafort is accused of lying about is his contact with Russian intelligence affiliate Konstantin Kilimnik, as well as other “administration officials.”
Manafort’s legal team had previously indicated that they would dispute Mueller’s claims, however, with no response submitted, Manafort may not fight the lying accusations ahead of his sentencing in March.
Manafort’s lawyers are no strangers to eleventh-hour filings. In Manafort’s criminal case, attorneys working for the former lobbyist and political consultant asked a judge just minutes before a midnight deadline for an extension. But this time, there were no such moves.
The case will go to a public hearing later this month, where a judge will attempt to discern whether Manafort breached his plea deal by lying to the special counsel. Following the hearing, Manafort is scheduled to be sentenced for his criminal convictions in March.
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Oliver is a UK-born freelance writer and journalist based in Boston. He is a self-confessed politics junkie with a passion for foreign and environmental policy. His work has been featured on Open Democracy, International Policy Digest, and the London Economic. He was a regular contributor for ASEAN Today.