Published: Fri, January 11, 2019
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Manafort Allegedly Shared 2016 Polling With Associate Linked To Russian Intelligence

Manafort Allegedly Shared 2016 Polling With Associate Linked To Russian Intelligence

I was focused yesterday on the indictment of Natalia Veselnitskaya and only considered briefly the apparently inadvertent disclosures by Paul Manafort's lawyers concerning their client's contacts with a business associate with ties to Russian intelligence.

The Associated Press said it saw a redacted portion of the filing by the Manafort lawyers that wasn't properly blacked out showing that Manafort lied about sharing political polling data with Kilimnik while he was working on the Trump campaign.

The filing says Mueller has accused Manafort of lying to investigators about sharing the data with Konstantin Kilimnik, a business associate who was indicted previous year on charges that he tampered with potential witnesses.

Paul Manafort's lawyers filed court documents Tuesday in response to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's allegations that he violated the terms of his cooperation deal by lying.

The attorneys denied several allegations of lying made by Mueller last month when the special counsel tore up a plea agreement with Manafort.

The errant admissions in Manafort's court filing also acknowledge that a person wanted to use his name when meeting President Donald Trump. This is a common error in court filings, cleaned-up confidential government documents intended for release, and releases under various countries' freedom of information acts.

The Mueller prosecutors, who for 20 months have been investigating Trump campaign links to Russian Federation and whether Trump, as president, tried to illegally obstruct the probe, contended that Manafort lied about least five subjects.

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. In other words, it's possible that this is a window into Trump campaign collusion, but it's also possible that it's just Manafort personally trying to, as he put it, "get whole" with Deripaska-something we already knew he was doing aggressively. Mueller broke off the plea agreement November 26 telling a judge who will oversee sentencing that Manafort continued to commit crimes, which violated the arrangement. Manafort was secretly coordinating with Kilimnik, and kept that fact hidden even when pressed on the issue under criminal penalty.

Manafort told a colleague in February - four months after he was indicted - that he was in contact with a senior administration official through that time, prosecutors said in accusing him of lying. The second example identified by the Special Counsel is hearsay purportedly offered by an undisclosed third party and the defense has not been provided with the statement (or any witness statements that form the basis for alleging intentional falsehoods).

Mr Kilimnik has denied allegations that he has ties to Russian intelligence.

She may hold a hearing on January 25 to determine whether Manafort breached his plea agreement by lying.

Manafort will not ask for a hearing regarding the prosecution's accusations, according to the filings.

The defense lawyers say Mueller's team has indicated they will not pursue additional charges against Manafort.

Manafort has pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in Washington and faces sentencing in a separate case in Virginia.

The ex-Trump aide had been hoping for leniency at his 5 March sentencing under the plea deal.

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