Mueller Suspects Manafort Gave 2016 Polling Data to Russian

Arturo Kim
January 11, 2019

The documents also reveal that prosecutors accused Manafort of lying about his contact with administration officials after Mr Trump took office. He left the campaign in August, days after the New York Times and the Associated Press published reports of his business dealings with Russia-aligned leaders in Ukraine involving millions of dollars of undisclosed cash payments and undisclosed lobbying efforts in the U.S.

According to the court filing, Mueller also accused Manafort of lying about discussing a Ukrainian peace plan with Kilimnik during the 2016 campaign. 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 provided "complete and truthful information to the best of his ability", the lawyers wrote in the 10-page filing.

Mueller had previously accused Manafort of lying about his interactions with Kilimnik, a Russian national who used to run the offshoot of Manafort's consulting business in Ukraine. Most of the information was public, though some included internal polling data, a source told The Times. A spokesman for Manafort's defense team declined to comment on the incomplete redactions or on Mueller's allegations, but lawyers later filed a corrected version of the document.

A spokeswoman for Deripaska has said he was never offered or received briefings about the Trump campaign. Kilimnik, who has ties to Russian intelligence, was indicted in June.

Another segment that was supposed to be redacted said prosecutors asserted that Manafort "conceded" he may have discussed a Ukrainian peace plan with Kilimnik on more than one occasion.

The filing contains new details about his connection to Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian-Ukrainian business associate who was indicted past year on charges he tampered with potential witnesses.

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In Tuesday's filing, Manafort's attorneys said that person was "asking permission to use Mr. Manafort's name as an introduction in the event the third-party met the President", which "does not constitute outreach by Mr. Manafort to the President".

The allegation marks the first time prosecutors with special counsel Robert Mueller's office have accused Trump's chief campaign aide of sharing election-related information with his Russian contacts.

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.

The lawyers wrote that Manafort allegedly misled prosecutors about his communications with Konstantin Kilimnik, who was Manafort's associate in Ukraine when Manafort was advising the Ukrainian political party, Party of Regions.

Meanwhile Tuesday, the Supreme Court turned back a petition by an unnamed, foreign state-owned company that is resisting a grand jury subpoena in a highly secretive case also believed part of the Mueller inquiry.

Manafort agreed to cooperate with Mueller when he admitted to two conspiracy counts in Washington on September 14, a month after jurors convicted him in Virginia of tax and bank fraud. Manafort is suffering from depression and anxiety and is at times confined to a wheelchair because of gout.

Manafort faces a tentative March 5 sentencing date in his federal case in the District.

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