Published: Wed, January 09, 2019
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Paul Manafort Allegedly Shared 2016 Polling With Russia-Linked Associate

Paul Manafort Allegedly Shared 2016 Polling With Russia-Linked Associate

Prosecutors have also accused Manafort of lying about his contacts with Trump administration officials, which defense lawyers deny. Reuters did not independently review the filing, which was soon replaced in the public database with a properly redacted version.

Manafort misled prosecutors in debriefings about his communications and a meeting with Konstantin Kilimnik, an associate with ties to Russian intelligence, according to a December 7 filing by Mueller.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is suffering from depression and anxiety and is at times confined to a wheelchair because of gout. Kilimnik and Manafort were charged with obstruction of justice in June for trying to influence witnesses who could testify at Manafort's trial.

Emails previously reported by the AP and other news outlets show that in July 2016, Manafort told Kilimnik he was willing to provide "private briefings" about the Trump campaign to Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Another redacted portion disclosed that an unknown individual texted Manafort about invoking his name if the individual met Mr. Trump.

Manafort's lawyers ― in a poorly redacted court filing responding to the special counsel's claim that Manafort broke his September 2018 plea agreement by lying to investigators ― inadvertently revealed that Mueller's team alleged that "Manafort lied about sharing polling data with [Konstantin Kilimnik] related to the 2016 presidential campaign".

Manafort's team at first denied that their client was in breach, but they later said they may not fight Mueller's accusation.

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Prosecutors said that they met 12 times with Manafort, and he testified twice to a grand jury, on October 26 and November 2.

"Issues and communications related to Ukrainian political events simply were not at the forefront of Mr. Manafort's mind during the period at issue and it is not surprising at all that Mr. Manafort was unable to recall specific details prior to having his recollection refreshed", they wrote.

Manafort's attorneys also argued that some of the special counsel's arguments were not sound.

Mr Mueller's team said Manafort had had a conversation with an unnamed individual who wanted "to use Mr Manafort's name as an introduction" if they ever met President Trump, according to the filings. Manafort had told investigators he'd no direct or indirect contact with White House officials since Trump's inauguration, but Manafort had been in touch with officials as recently as the spring, according to the filing. Manafort "lied in multiple ways and on multiple occasions", prosecutors wrote, saying "these were not instances of mere memory lapses".

Manafort is scheduled to be sentenced on February 8 in Virginia and on March 5 in Washington.

The conspiracy charges against Manafort are related to his consulting work advising pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine.

If he is found to have intentionally lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the government could seek a tougher sentence - including a maximum of life in prison.

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