Manafort accused of sharing 2016 election data with Russians

ABC Television

ABC Television

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.

The specifics of the Mueller allegations were not previously known publicly, having been blacked out in a heavily redacted December 7 filing by the Russian Federation collusion prosecutor's team. Court filings submitted by lawyers on Tuesday revealed that Manafort lied about his dealings with Konstantin Kilimnik, a lobbyist linked to Russian intelligence.

Let this serve as a reminder to all lawyers and anyone else with secrets to hide: Simply adding black highlighting to text is not an adequate redaction technique!

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Manafort managed the Trump campaign for five months in 2016, during the time Mr Trump clinched his party's nomination What did we learn from the documents?

In the document Manafort's lawyers referenced a December court filing in which Mueller alleged that Manafort had "conceded" to discussing the peace plan, which they argued was an indication that their client was forthcoming when his memory was refreshed of past events.

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What remains unknown is whether Trump or others on the campaign were aware that Manafort provided Kilimnik and Deripaska with polling data.

His lawyers said there is "no identifiable pattern" to his "purported misrepresentations", even though several of them involve Kilimnik.

The Associated Press said it saw a redacted portion of the filing by the Manafort lawyers that wasn't properly blacked out showing that Manafort lied about sharing political polling data with Kilimnik while he was working on the Trump campaign.

Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni said the Madrid trip mentioned in the filing occurred in January or February 2017 - months after Manafort was ousted from the campaign and as Mr Trump was taking office.

Prosecutors said that they met 12 times with Manafort, and he testified twice to a grand jury, on October 26 and November 2.

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Manafort was among the first Americans charged in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation and has been among the central characters in the case.

Mr Mueller's team said Manafort had had a conversation with an unnamed individual who wanted "to use Mr Manafort's name as an introduction" if they ever met President Trump, according to the filings. 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 (or any witness statements that form the basis for alleging intentional falsehoods).

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

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