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Trump's ex-campaign chairman faces March sentencing

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Trump's ex-campaign chairman faces March sentencing
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort will tentatively face sentencing on March 5, a federal judge ruled on Friday, after the U.S. special counsel investigating whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia said the former top aide had breached his plea agreement.

U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team also must submit a report to the court on Dec. 7 outlining how Manafort had breached his plea deal with federal prosecutors, Judge Amy Berman Jackson of U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia said.

Jackson said she would hold a hearing in January to decide whether Manafort had breached his agreement but gave no specific date.

Manafort, a longtime Washington consultant, joined Trump’s presidential campaign in March 2016 and rose to chairman before resigning five months later. He pleaded guilty in September and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors examining suspected Russian meddling in the U.S. election and possible coordination between Moscow and Trump’s team.

But Mueller told the court on Monday that Manafort had since lied to investigators, nullifying their deal and clearing the way for sentencing. Manafort, in the same filing, disagreed with the special counsel but also asked the court to hand down his sentence.

(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Bill Trott)

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