Paul Manafort Allegedly Shared 2016 Polling With Russia-Linked Associate

Leroy Wright
January 9, 2019

In December Mueller accused Manafort in a court filing of telling "multiple discernible lies" related to five subjects, including his interactions with Kilimnik and his contacts with Trump administration officials in 2018. Manafort has pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in Washington and faces sentencing in a separate case in Virginia.

"There is no support for the proposition that Mr. Manafort intentionally lied to the Government, " defense attorneys wrote in a Tuesday court filing.

"The same is true with regard to the Government's allegation that Mr Manafort lied about sharing polling data with Mr Kilimnik related to the 2016 presidential campaign".

Kilimnik has been charged alongside Manafort with witness tampering as part of Mueller's sprawling investigation into Russian interference and is believed to have links to the GRU, the Russian intel unit blamed for hacking Democrats' emails in 2016.

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.

The former Trump campaign chairman on Tuesday denied in a filing from his defense team that he broke his plea deal by lying repeatedly to prosecutors working for special counsel Robert S. Mueller III about that and other issues.

The latest allegations further detail how Manafort's work on the campaign intersected with his past worldwide work with Kilimnik.

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The poorly redacted court papers also revealed a meeting between Manafort and Kilimnik in Madrid, although no date was provided - and that the two discussed a Ukraine peace plan on more than one occasion. They say he suffers from depression and anxiety, has been kept away from his family and, on days when he met with investigators, was awakened before dawn to have hours-long conversations with Mueller's team.

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

During the 2016 Republican national convention, the Trump campaign came under scrutiny for changing a policy proposal for Ukraine in a way that made it favorable for Russian Federation. It is unclear whether the polling data was related to the briefings for Deripaska.

The documents also reveal that prosecutors accused Manafort of lying about his contact with administration officials after Mr Trump took office.

The defense lawyers say Mueller's team has indicated they will not pursue additional charges against Manafort.

Manafort's lawyers had been given until Monday to decide whether they would challenge the allegations, a move that would require a court hearing to weigh evidence, or simply ask the government to move on to sentencing.

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