Manafort filing reveals alleged campaign communications with Russian operative

Paul Manafort’s botched court filing shows he colluded with an alleged Russian intelligence asset

Manafort filing reveals alleged campaign communications with Russian operative

Defense attorneys for the former Trump campaign manager had filed a response Tuesday contesting special counsel Robert Mueller's allegations Manafort lied to federal investigators on a variety of subjects in breach of his plea agreement.

One of the redacted portions includes details about Manafort meeting with Russian intelligence operative Konstantin Kilimnik in Madrid.

L.V. Anderson is Digg's managing editor.

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.

Prosecutors also think Manafort and Kilimnik may have met in Madrid, during the campaign, to discuss a possible Ukraine peace plan, according to another passage of the new document.

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

The special counsel alleged Manafort "lied about sharing polling data with Mr. Kilimnik related to the 2016 presidential campaign", according to the unredacted filing, and discussed Ukrainian politics with Kilimnik during that time.

Defense lawyers say that even though they don't believe Manafort intentionally made false statements, they're not requesting a hearing on the government's allegations.

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 USA presidential campaign and had countless meetings, email communications, and other interactions with many different individuals, and traveled frequently".

Manafort's lawyers said in the filing that any discrepancies in his cooperation could be due to the hours and length of his interviews.

Manafort told a colleague in February - four months after he was indicted - that he was in contact with a senior administration official through that time, prosecutors said.

Mueller accused Manafort in December of authorizing a third party to communicate on his behalf with an "administration official", despite him telling investigators he did not recall direct or indirect communications with administration officials.

Mr Kilimnik was considered Manafort's right-hand man in Ukraine and has been accused by the special counsel of conspiring to obstruct justice.

Prosecutors said Manafort also lied about the circumstances of a $125,000 wire transfer in 2017.

Manafort, who earned millions of dollars for his political consulting work for Ukraine's former pro-Russia government, has emerged as a key figure in Mueller's investigation. Manafort "lied in multiple ways and on multiple occasions", prosecutors wrote, saying "these were not instances of mere memory lapses".

Jackson has scheduled Manafort's sentencing for March 5, but the judge said she first wanted to determine whether he did breach the plea agreement.

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