Failed redaction reveals Paul Manafort's 'lies to FBI'

Manafort’s Lawyers Accidentally Revealed an Exchange Between the Trump Campaign and a Man Trained by Russian Military Intelligence

In the new court filing disclosed Tuesday, Manafort's lawyers decided not to contest the allegations that Manafort lied and asked a judge to move on to sentencing Manafort in the coming weeks.

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.

There, it was revealed authorities believe Manafort lied about handing 2016 polling data to Konstantin Kilimnik, a translator and business associate that Mueller has connected to Russian intelligence. A new court filing says Manafort is suspected of having shared polling data with a business associate who has links to the Russian intelligence service.

In the court document made public on Tuesday, Manafort's attorneys state that Mueller alleges Manafort "lied about sharing polling data with Mr Kilimnik related to the 2016 presidential campaign".

Previously, the special counsel's office outlined five areas in which they believe Manafort lied, including about his contact with Kilimnik, who is of interest to the Mueller investigation, and about his communication with White House officials as recently as previous year, but redacted some details of what they know and how they know it.

The first alleged misstatement identified in the Special Counsel's submission (regarding a text exchange on May 26, 2018) related to a text message from a third-party asking permission to use Mr. Manafort's name as an introduction in the event the third-party met the President. This is a common error in court filings, cleaned-up confidential government documents intended for release, and releases under various countries' freedom of information acts. Manafort is suffering from depression and anxiety and is at times confined to a wheelchair because of gout.

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Kilimnik has always been suspected to be central to Mueller's investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election.

Prosecutors say Manafort's lies breached their plea agreement.

They contended the 69-year-old Manafort, facing years in prison, had breached the cooperation agreement that was reached when he pleaded guilty to cheating USA tax authorities, violating federal lobbying laws and obstructing justice in connection with his long-time lobbying efforts for deposed Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych in the years before he worked on Trump's campaign.

Manafort has been in jail since June, after prosecutors accused him of attempting to sway witness' testimony against him while he was under house arrest.

They add the other example of alleged contact with administration officials "is hearsay purportedly offered by an undisclosed third party and the defense has not been provided with the statement". Another question is whether Kilimnik here was functioning as an arm of Deripaska in his relationship with Manafort or as cutout for Russian intelligence-or, again, perhaps both.

The longtime lobbyist is set for sentencing February 8 in Virginia before U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III of Alexandria. That time could come in addition to his punishment for separate convictions in Virginia on tax and bank fraud charges. Manafort's filing sheds little light on that transaction. Kilimnik only faces a charge from Mueller related to allegedly helping Manafort tamper with witnesses following his arrest.

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