Botched Manafort court filing makes public bombshell allegations in ongoing Mueller investigation

Botched Manafort court filing makes public bombshell allegations in ongoing Mueller investigation

Botched Manafort court filing makes public bombshell allegations in ongoing Mueller investigation

Judge Amy Berman Jackson, the federal judge overseeing Manafort's case in D.C., has ordered Mueller's team to submit its factual and evidentiary basis of Manafort's alleged lies by January 14.

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.

Mueller, who is investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 election, said in a court filing in March past year that the Federal Bureau of Investigation assesses that Kilimnik "has ties to a Russian intelligence service and had such ties in 2016".

But in doing so, he exposed details of the dispute that were apparently meant to be redacted, including that the special counsel alleges he "lied about sharing polling data with Mr. Kilimnik related to the 2016 presidential campaign".

Manafort, after being convicted of various bank and tax fraud charges, had agreed last September to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation into allegations of collusion between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation.

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. "While his physical safety is of primary concern, it is important to note that the conditions of Mr. Manafort's confinement have taken a toll on his physical and mental health", the court filing says.

According to prosecutors, he and Kilimnik contacted potential witnesses in Mueller's investigation, trying to tell them what to say if they were questioned - a federal crime.

The lawyers wrote that Manafort was "sharing polling data. related to the 2016 presidential campaign".

At the time, Manafort's team said they did not have enough information from the government about their client's alleged lies to reply.

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

A longtime Republican operative and lobbyist who had worked for prominent Republicans, including Bob Dole, Manafort joined the Trump campaign in March 2016.

According to The Times, Manafort and Rick Gates, his former business partner and campaign deputy, provided the information in spring 2016, around the time Trump clinched the GOP nomination. "This does not constitute outreach by Mr. Manafort to the President", a redacted line in the filing claims, while another redacted sentence says another identified interaction is "hearsay purportedly offered by an undisclosed third party".

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

Federal prosecutors convinced a jury in August 2018 to convict Manafort on eight of 18 bank and tax fraud charges in a trial in NY.

The conspiracy charges against Manafort are related to his consulting work advising pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine.

The longtime lobbyist is set for sentencing February 8 in Virginia before U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III of Alexandria. Manafort's filing sheds little light on that transaction. The documents also disclosed some of the Mueller team's previously unaired accusations against Manafort.

For the two charges he now faces in DC federal court, Manafort could receive 17 to 22 years in prison, his plea agreement says.

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