Tuesday, 22 January, 2019

Mueller Believes Manafort Shared 2016 Polling Data With Alleged Russian Intel Agent

Manafort’s Lawyers Accidentally Revealed an Exchange Between the Trump Campaign and a Man Trained by Russian Military Intelligence Filing: Manafort accused of lying about sharing poll data
Patty Aguilar | 09 January, 2019, 08:25

Prosecutors say Manafort breached their plea agreement by lying, but defense lawyers argued that any misstatements were simple mistakes made by a man coping with illness, exhaustion and extensive questioning from investigators.

In its filing on Tuesday (local time) the defence was trying to rebut allegations Manafort intentionally lied to Mr Mueller's team after agreeing to plead guilty last September.

In August, Manafort was convicted on several bank and fraud charges in a separate Virginia federal case in August overseen by Judge T.S. Ellis III.

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.

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.

Kilimnik has been charged with working with Manafort to obstruct Mueller's investigation of Russian interference into the 2016 election.

The latest allegations further detail how Manafort's work on the campaign intersected with his past global work with Kilimnik.

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Special counsel prosecutors accused Manafort in November of breaking a plea deal by lying to the special counsel's office. While it is unknown if the 2016 polling data was related to the Trump campaign, the fact that Manafort was the chairman of the Trump campaign during 2016, certainly doesn't bode well for those still denying that there was no collusion between the campaign and Russian Federation.

Mueller's filing said Manafort "breached his plea agreement in numerous ways by lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation", including about his interactions with Russian associate Konstantin Kilimnik. They said he began talking with investigators before dawn, answering questions for "many hours" and "usually the entire day".

Manafort also did not initially disclose having earlier discussed a Ukraine peace plan with Kilimnik on more than one occasion during the campaign, according to the filing. While the redactions don't specifically mention the Trump campaign by name, they do mention the "2016 presidential campaign".

They say the same about his recollection of sharing polling data with Kilimnik related to the campaign. Manafort denies the accusations.

The filing says a May 26, 2018, text message exchange with Manafort involved an unidentified "third party" who was asking permission to name-drop Manafort if the person met with Mr Trump. The request to use Manafort as an introduction to Trump came while Manafort was under indictment in two federal cases.

Mueller's team and attorneys for Manafort agreed in court last month to conduct informal discussions about the alleged lies before defense counsel responded.

Manafort's lawyers had been given until Monday to decide whether they would challenge the allegations, a move that would require a court hearing to weigh evidence, or simply ask the government to move on to sentencing.

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