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Russia Investigation

Manafort plans to file a response to the Mueller memo this week

One key question is whether Manafort will name the Trump administration official he allegedly had contact with in 2018.
Image: Paul Manafort walks from Federal District Court
Paul Manafort walks from Federal District Court in Washington on Oct. 30, 2017. Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, and Manafort's business associate Rick Gates pleaded not guilty to felony charges of conspiracy against the United States and other counts.Alex Brandon / AP file

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort plans to file in federal court this week a formal response to the "crimes and lies" laid out by the special counsel's office, NBC News has learned.

On Friday, special counsel Robert Mueller's team of prosecutors said Manafort had broken his plea agreement by not being forthcoming about his contacts with Russians and the Trump administration, even after he was charged.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the U.S. District Court for D.C. on Monday set a scheduling conference to take place Tuesday afternoon. Earlier Monday, Jackson had ordered she would proceed with the hearing if there is no filing from Manafort's defense team.

A source familiar with the Manafort team's plans said the defense is working on that submission now. However, the source would not say what the filing would entail.

One key question is whether Manafort will name the Trump administration official he allegedly had contact with in 2018. It is unclear whether Manafort told his legal team about those conversations.

A spokesman for Manafort's legal team declined to comment. A spokesman for the special counsel's office also declined to comment.

Manafort has waived his right to appear at the Wednesday hearing. He hasn't been since in public since October when he showed up to court in a wheelchair, with his right foot heavily bandaged.

Manafort agreed to cooperate with Mueller's team after he was convicted on eight counts of financial crimes in a separate case.

The special counsel's office said in the Friday court filing that Manafort sat for 12 interviews with federal investigators in which he told "multiple discernible lies."

In addition to his false statements about contacts with the Trump administration, Manafort also misled investigators in conversations about a separate Justice Department investigation, as well as about his interactions with a Russian associate with ties to Moscow's intelligence services, according to Mueller's office.

Mueller's prosecutors "are prepared to prove the basis for the defendant's breach at a hearing that will establish each false statement through independent documentary and testimonial evidence, including Manafort's subsequent admissions," the Friday court filing says.