Mueller Suspects Manafort Gave 2016 Polling Data to Russian

10 January, 2019, 23:47 | Author: Emmett Rice
  • Manafort case goes silent on night when major filing due

The specifics of the Mueller allegations were not previously known publicly, having been blacked out in a heavily redacted December 7 filing by the Russian Federation collusion prosecutor's team.

Lawyers for Paul Manafort appear to have missed a significant court filing deadline of midnight Tuesday to respond to the special counsel's office's accusation that he lied about five topics during his post-guilty-plea cooperation sessions.

While many Democrats on Tuesday asserted that the new revelation was strong evidence of collusion, one possibility is that Manafort was attempting to settle a multi-million dollar business dispute with Deripaska.

Donald Trump's one-time presidential campaign chairman Paul Manafort admitted in a court filing Tuesday he provided polling data from the campaign to a Russian with ties to intelligence during the 2016 United States presidential race.

Manafort discussed a Ukrainian peace plan with Kilimnik, his lawyers acknowledged.

Prosecutors have previously said they believe Kilimnik has ties to the military intelligence unit the GRU, which allegedly hacked the Democratic Party and leaked damaging emails while Manafort ran Trump's campaign operation.

The filing contains new details about his connection to Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian-Ukrainian business associate who was indicted previous year on charges he tampered with potential witnesses. Kilimnik and Manafort were charged with obstruction of justice in June for trying to influence witnesses who could testify at Manafort's trial.

Manafort's legal team did not respond to an inquiry after midnight Tuesday about whether the document was filed, nor did a spokesperson for the special counsel's office.

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Mueller claimed on November 26 that Manafort breached that September plea deal and committed crimes by lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the special counsel's office on "a variety of subject matters".

Manafort's lawyers say he's suffering from anxiety and depression, lacks contact with his family, and had little time to prepare for hours-long questioning by the investigators.

Manafort's lawyers said that during his debriefings and two grand jury appearances, he "provided complete and truthful information to the best of his ability". Manafort had told investigators he had 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 special counsel's assertions. "This does not constitute outreach by Mr. Manafort to the President", a redacted line in the filing claims, while another redacted sentence says another identified interaction is "hearsay purportedly offered by an undisclosed third party".

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson has ordered the special counsel to respond and set a January 25 hearing to air the competing perspectives.

The schedule for court filings over the matter was set at a conference on December 11, with the court outlining the dates by which each side would have to submit filings related to Manafort's alleged breach of his plea agreement.

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.

Federal prosecutors convinced a jury in August 2018 to convict Manafort on eight of 18 bank and tax fraud charges in a trial in NY.

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