Manafort shared 2016 polling data with Russian employee, according to court filing

Frederick Owens
January 9, 2019

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson gave Manafort's lawyers until Monday to respond to the allegation in writing and said prosecutors must provide their underlying evidence by January 14.

Manafort's lawyers said their client had no reason to misrepresent the truth in his 12 interviews with investigators late previous year.

After leveling that accusation, prosecutors filed a heavily-redacted court document describing five areas in which Manafort is accused of lying to government investigators, including misleading statements about his contacts with Trump administration officials. Manafort has pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in Washington and faces sentencing in a separate case in Virginia.

Manafort's attorneys argue in the filing that he had answered the special counsel's questions truthfully to the best of his ability, but that his work on Ukrainian political events and of the alleged information sharing with Kilimnik "simply were not at the forefront of Mr. Manafort's mind during the period at issue".

Manafort's attorneys disputed the characterization Manafort authorized the unnamed person to communicate with Trump on his behalf, according to the redacted details of the filing, The Hill reported.

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

"The Trump campaign chairman was sharing campaign polling data with a Russian intelligence asset in the midst of the campaign", said national security lawyer Bradley Moss.

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Mueller claimed in a November 26 filing that Manafort breached his plea deal and "committed federal crimes by lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the special counsel's office on a variety of subject matters".

He led the Trump campaign during the Republican convention when, U.S. intelligence officials say, Russian Federation was working to sway the election in Mr Trump's favour.

The defense lawyers said Manafort suffers from depression and anxiety, has had little contact with his family and, on days when he met with investigators, was awakened before dawn to have hourslong interviews with little time to prepare for the questioning.

In both cases, Manafort copped to the "additional meetings or communications" he hadn't initially disclosed after the special counsel "shared evidence" with him, according to the documents. Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni said Tuesday the Madrid trip mentioned in the filing occurred in January or February 2017- months after Manafort was ousted from the campaign and as Trump was taking office.

It also says that Manafort met with Kilimnik in Madrid and that they discussed a peace deal for Ukraine. It is unclear whether the polling data was related to the briefings for Deripaska. The request to use Manafort as an introduction to Trump came while Manafort was under indictment in two federal cases.

The documents also reveal that prosecutors accused Manafort of lying about his contact with administration officials after Mr Trump took office.

He accepted a plea deal on his other charges in exchange for co-operating with Mr Mueller's inquiry. They say the allegations can be addressed during the presentencing process.

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