Manafort accused of lying about sharing polling data with Russian

Cheryl Sanders
January 9, 2019

The filing says Mueller has accused Manafort of lying to investigators about sharing the data with Konstantin Kilimnik, a business associate who was indicted a year ago on charges that he tampered with potential witnesses. Tuesday's revelation demonstrates that a member of the Trump campaign was having conversations with a Russian about Ukraine while the campaign was ongoing.

Kevin Downing and Thomas Zehnle, defense attorneys for former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, leave U.S. District Court after a status hearing in Washington, Dec. 11, 2018.

Manafort and Kilimnik were charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice by attempting to tamper with witnesses after Manafort had been already been indicted for other crimes.

The attorneys denied several allegations of lying made by Mueller last month when the special counsel tore up a plea agreement with Manafort.

Manafort was among the first Americans charged in Mueller's investigation and has been among the central characters in the case, having led the campaign during the Republican convention and as, U.S intelligence officials say, Russian Federation was working to sway the election in Trump's favor.

Manafort's lawyers have argued he provided truthful information to the best of his ability at the time.

Prosecutors have also accused Manafort of lying about his contacts with Trump administration officials, which defence lawyers also deny. And in a text message, he authorized another person to speak with a White House official on May 26, they alleged.

"The second example identified by the Special Counsel is hearsay purportedly offered by an undisclosed third party and the defense has not been provided with the statement", Manafort's attorneys said. "He also suffers from depression and anxiety and, due to the facility's visitation regulations, has had very little contact with his family".

According to the unredacted versions posted online, the blacked-out sections showed that Manafort has been accused by Mueller of lying about his sharing of polling data on the 2016 campaign with Kilimnik.

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.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson has ordered the government to provide a detailed factual basis about Manafort's lies, which is due January 14.

The defense filing followed an explosive assertion from prosecutor Andrew Weissmann that Manafort had told "multiple, discernible lies", blowing up a plea deal they reached one day before jury selection was scheduled to begin in a federal court in Washington, D.C. That time could come in addition to his punishment for separate convictions in Virginia on tax and bank fraud charges.

Manafort is scheduled to be sentenced on February 8 for his Virginia jury convictions for bank and tax fraud.

Manafort faces a tentative March 5 sentencing date in his federal case in D.C. If he is found to have breached the deal, he would lose any sentencing credits for acceptance of responsibility, prosecutors said.

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