Published: Wed, January 09, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Manafort accused of sharing Trump polling data with Russian operative

Manafort accused of sharing Trump polling data with Russian operative

Prosecutors investigating Russian interference in the last USA presidential election suspect former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort shared polling data with a business associate who has links to the Russian intelligence service, according to a new court filing.

In the Tuesday filing, Manafort's lawyers said the disagreement can be dealt with through the sentencing process, because prosecutors have said they have no plans to file fresh charges.

Mr Mueller is investigating alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election. But an unredacted section notes some events occurred while Manafort was managing President Trump's 2016 campaign. The Mueller team accused him in November of breaking that deal by lying to investigators.

Mueller's team also indicted Kilimnik for witness tampering in Manafort's case.

No response appeared on the electronic filing system in Washington federal court by the cutoff.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is suffering from depression and anxiety and is at times confined to a wheelchair because of gout.

As part of a document meant to defend Manafort against accusations that he lied to federal prosecutors after signing onto a cooperation agreement with special counsel Robert Mueller, his defense counsel failed to adequately redact sections of their filing.

It showed that Mueller had questioned Manafort on his discussions with Kilimnik in 2016 on a possible peace plan for Ukraine - where the two had worked together several years earlier for a pro-Russia political party.

The defence document acknowledges Manafort conceded he had met with Mr Kilimnik in Madrid only after being told that they had travelled to the city on the same day.

The lawyers said Ukraine-related matters "simply were not at the forefront of Mr Manafort's mind during the period at issue". Manafort had told investigators he'd no direct or indirect contact with White House officials since Trump's inauguration, but Manafort had been in touch with officials as recently as the spring, according to the filing.

In its filing on Tuesday (local time) the defence was trying to rebut allegations Manafort intentionally lied to Mr Mueller's team after agreeing to plead guilty last September.

"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.

Though there was no comment from Manaford's legal team, a new, corrected filing was quickly posted on the docket that no longer allowed the public to see the redacted paragraphs, The Hill reported.

Mueller's filing said Manafort "breached his plea agreement in numerous ways by lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation", including about his interactions with Russian associate Konstantin Kilimnik.

Media captionDonald Trump: "I feel very badly for Paul Manafort" What's next? Manafort "lied in multiple ways and on multiple occasions", prosecutors wrote, saying "these were not instances of mere memory lapses".

The ex-Trump aide had been hoping for leniency at his 5 March sentencing under the plea deal.

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