Court Doc: Mueller Believes Paul Manafort Shared 2016 Polls with Russian Contact

The filing contains new information about Manafort’s connections to Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian-Ukrainian business associate who was indicted last year on charges he tampered with potential witnesses. The U.S. believes he is connected to Russian intelligence, but Kilimnik, who is not in U.S. custody, has denied those ties.

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

Emails previously reported by the AP and other news outlets show that in July 2016, Manafort told Kilimnik he was willing to provide “private briefings” about the Trump campaign to Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Manafort dangled the briefings as he was mired in a dispute with Deripaska over a multimillion-dollar deal involving a Ukrainian cable company.

Through his spokesman, Manafort has acknowledged discussing the briefings but said they never occurred.

In addition, the defense document discloses a meeting in Madrid between Manafort and Kilimnik. Prosecutors say Manafort acknowledged the meeting only after being told that they were in the same city on the same day. Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni said Tuesday the Madrid trip mentioned in the filing occurred in January or February 2017— months after Manafort was ousted from the campaign and as Trump was taking office.

Manafort also did not initially disclose having earlier discussed a Ukraine peace plan with Kilimnik on more than one occasion during the campaign, according to the filing. Russia and Ukraine have been locked in a conflict since 2014 over Russia’s annexation of Crimea. The U.S. and European Union have imposed sanctions on Russia over that move as well as the country’s support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.

Manafort’s attorneys don’t specify the details of the peace plan but they write that Manafort told prosecutors in September that “he would have given the Ukrainian peace plan more thought, had the issue not been raised during the period he was engaged with work related to the presidential campaign.

“Issues and communications related to Ukrainian political events simply were not at the time forefront of Mr. Manafort’s mind during the period at issue and it is not surprising at all that Manafort was unable to recall specific details prior to having his recollection refreshed,” they said.

They say the same about his recollection of sharing polling data with Kilimnik related to the campaign.

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

The filing says that a May 26, 2018, text message exchange with Manafort involved an unidentified “third-party” who was asking permission to name-drop Manafort if the person met with Trump. The request to use Manafort as an introduction to Trump came while Manafort was under indictment in two federal cases.

The defense lawyers say Mueller’s team has indicated they will not pursue additional charges against Manafort. The lawyers say they don’t want a separate hearing before a judge on the lying allegations but will address them instead during the sentencing process.

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Read the filing here: http://apne.ws/0tKWu9A