Manafort lied about sharing polling data with Russians, prosecutors allege

Blanche Robertson
January 9, 2019

Prosecutors have also accused Manafort of lying about his contacts with Trump administration officials, which defence lawyers also deny.

Mr. Mueller's team said last month Manafort lied about his connection with Mr. Kilimnik and a wire transfer to a company he was working with.

Another revelation that was meant to be kept under wraps was a meeting between Manafort and Mr. Kilimnik in Madrid.

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.

The disclosure emerged in a legal brief filed by Manafort's defense lawyers, who are resisting the idea he intentionally lied to special counsel Robert Mueller, lies that the investigators said should torpedo his plea deal. Manafort's lawyers claim their client is confined at times to a wheelchair, suffering from gout, brought on by the stress of his prosecution and incarceration in a Virginia prison. The request to use Manafort as an introduction to Trump came while Manafort was under indictment in two federal cases.

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Image copyright Reuters Image caption Manafort managed the Trump campaign for five months in 2016, during the time Mr Trump clinched his party's nomination What did we learn from the documents? Kilimnik has also already been charged by Mueller with witness tampering. His attorneys added that "it is not surprising at all that Mr. Manafort was unable to recall specific details prior to having his recollection refreshed". 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.

"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", Manafort's attorneys said. The U.S. believes he is connected to Russian intelligence, but Kilimnik, who is not in U.S. custody, has denied those ties.

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

The Russian citizen was a long-time employee of Manafort's political consulting firm and had done extensive lobbying work for him in Ukraine on behalf of the country's then pro-Russian President, Viktor Yanukovych.

But in Manafort's response, the electronic formatting for the redaction could easily be bypassed, revealing exactly what Manafort was accused of lying about.

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