If Mueller cancels Manafort deal, same should happen with former Trump campaign aide: Giuliani

PHOTO: Paul Manafort, former campaign manager for Donald Trump, exits the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse, Feb. 28, 2018, in Washington, DC.PlayDrew Angerer/Getty Images, FILE
WATCH Manafort's lawyers briefed Trump's legal team: Report

Lawyers for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort have briefed President Donald Trump's legal team on what Manafort has told special counsel Robert Mueller's prosecutors, the president's lead attorney told ABC News Wednesday.

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"They share with me the things that pertain to our part of the case," Rudy Giuliani said.

Manafort has been questioned about his time leading the Trump campaign and his foreign contacts, according to sources familiar with his conversations with prosecutors. One key area of interest has been the infamous Trump Tower meeting that Manafort attended along with the then-candidate's son, Donald Trump Jr., and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as they sought dirt on Hillary Clinton from a Russian attorney in June 2016.

Giuliani said the president has been enraged over how Manafort is being treated by the Mueller probe.

In a new line of attack, Giuliani told ABC News Wednesday that he believes that if the special counsel’s office seeks to end its cooperation deal with Manafort, prosecutors should also seek to end their deal with former Trump aide and longtime Manafort associate Rick Gates.

Gates was indicted last year along with his former boss, Manafort, on 32 counts of submitting false individual income tax returns, failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts, bank fraud conspiracy, and bank fraud. Unlike Manafort, however, Gates accepted a plea deal from the special counsel in February, admitting guilt to two felony counts of conspiracy against the U.S. and lying to federal authorities.

“They are being hypocrites,” Giuliani told ABC News. “They believe Manafort is lying -- we believe he’s telling the truth. They know Gates lied.”

Manafort’s attorneys have not responded to ABC News' requests for comment. The special counsel's office declined to comment.

Gates’ guilty plea to lying to investigators related to statements given before he entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors, unlike Manafort whom Mueller’s office said earlier this week had breached his cooperation agreement.

“After signing the plea agreement, Manafort committed federal crimes by lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Special Counsel’s Office on a variety of subject matters, which constitute breaches of the agreement,” court filings read. Office on a variety of subject matters, which constitute breaches of the agreement,” court filings read.

A source familiar with the Gates case said: “The two situations are not at all comparable.”

Neither Gates nor his attorneys had any communications with the White House after reaching a cooperation agreement with Mueller’s team, according to the source. To do so, the source said, would be “a show of bad faith.”

“If you go to the government’s side you should not be sneaking information out the back door to a critical party,” the source said.

The Mueller court filing on Manafort brought to a head weeks of speculation that his cooperation with the special counsel could be breaking down and renewed questions about whether Manafort was seeking a pardon from the president.

Manafort has been behind bars since June and admitted guilt last September.

The broken plea deal with Mueller's team will likely play a role in determining the length of Manafort's ultimate sentencing.

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