Manafort lied about sharing polling data with Russians, prosecutors allege

Elias Hubbard
January 9, 2019

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

The former Trump campaign chief's lawyers said their client has been suffering from gout, anxiety and depression and that he never purposely lied to them during his 12 interview sessions with the special counsel and other prosecutors. Trump has said there was no collusion between his campaign and Moscow.

But according to The Hill, court watchers were able to see the whole filing by copying and pasting the redacted sections. The two men also discussed a peace plan for Ukraine, according to the court documents. His lawyers also said prosecutors have not provided witness statements disputing Manafort's account.

Defense counsel for Manafort claim their client "did not recall having a conversation" with two Trump administration officials and that his recollection about contacts with Kilimnik is "unsurprising", because "these occurrences happened during a period when Mr. Manafort was managing a US presidential campaign and had countless meetings, email communications, and other interactions with many different individuals, and traveled frequently".

In December, Mueller's team wrote in a heavily-redacted court filing that Manafort "breached his plea agreement in numerous ways by lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Special Counsel's Office".

Through his spokesman, Manafort has acknowledged discussing the briefings but said they never occurred.

The filing claims that the first alleged lie by Manafort was "related to a text message from a third-party asking permission to use Mr. Manafort's name as an introduction in the event the third-party met the President", which they argue "did not constitute outreach to the President".

Special counsel prosecutors accused Manafort in November of breaking a plea deal by lying to the special counsel's office.

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. The U.S. believes he is connected to Russian intelligence, but Kilimnik, who is not in U.S. custody, has denied those ties.

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In the Tuesday filing, Manafort's lawyers said the disagreement can be dealt with through the sentencing process, because prosecutors have said they have no plans to file fresh charges.

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

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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