Mueller Believes Manafort Shared 2016 Polling Data With Alleged Russian Intel Agent

Donald Trump is seen with Paul Manafort during the Republican National Convention in July 2016

The information was accidentally revealed in a defense filing Tuesday and was meant to be redacted.

Paul Manafort's lawyers filed court documents Tuesday in response to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's allegations that he violated the terms of his cooperation deal by lying.

In another action that may be related to the ongoing Russian Federation probe, the Supreme Court Tuesday denied an application for a stay in a case involving a bank owned by a foreign government.

"Manafort "conceded" that he discussed or may have discussed a Ukraine peace plan with Mr. Kilimnik on more than one occasion", his attorneys quote the special counsel as saying, and "'acknowledged' that he and Mr. Kilimnik met while they were both in Madrid", without giving a date.

Kilimnik is a veteran of the Russian army whom Mueller accused of having ties to Russian intelligence agencies.

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

Mr Mueller's team said Manafort had had a conversation with an unnamed individual who wanted "to use Mr Manafort's name as an introduction" if they ever met President Trump, according to the filings.

Kilimnik has always been suspected to be central to Mueller's investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election.

Prosecutors say Manafort breached their plea agreement by lying, but defence lawyers argue that any misstatements were simple mistakes made by a man coping with illness, exhaustion and extensive questioning from investigators.




The polling data was shared in the spring of 2016, the Times reported, and while most of the polling in question was publicly available, some of the data shared was assembled by a private firm on behalf of the Trump campaign.

Manafort's lawyers did not respond to a request for comment on the matter.

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

It's possible Manafort's legal team filed the entire document under seal, though with that approach they'd normally announce their intention to keep secret the filing in the case docket. "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".

The lawyers said Ukraine-related matters "simply were not at the forefront of Mr Manafort's mind during the period at issue". "He also suffers from depression and anxiety and, due to the facility's visitation regulations, has had very little contact with his family".

Manafort reached the plea agreement with Mueller in September after a jury found him guilty of eight charges of tax evasion and bank fraud by a jury in the USA state of Virginia in August.

Manafort was found guilty in August on eight counts of tax and bank-fraud in a Virginia case related in part to his work as an unregistered foreign lobbyist.

The judge in DC federal court who has overseen his case, Amy Berman Jackson, gave him the opportunity to respond before she would hold a hearing about the facts of the situation. In return, prosecutors said they would consider asking the judge for leniency at his eventual sentencing.

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