Paul Manafort: Trump's disgraced campaign chief said he was placing people in administration, court filing says

Robert Mueller must provide evidence about Mr Manafort's alleged lies

Nathan Layne,Karen Freifeld
Wednesday 16 January 2019 17:56 GMT
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Paul Manafort, the convicted former chairman of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, told a business associate in January 2017 he was using middlemen to get people appointed to the Trump administration, according to a court filing on Tuesday.

US Special Counsel Robert Mueller had been given until Monday by a federal court in Washington to provide evidence of his accusations that Mr Manafort had lied to prosecutors on five subjects, which would put him in breach of a plea agreement under which he was meant to be cooperating with Mr Mueller’s probe.

The heavily redacted 188-page filing included some new details about Mr Manafort’s communications with Trump administration officials, which continued even after he left the campaign in August 2016 due to a scandal over cash payments related to his work for pro-Russia politicians in Ukraine.

In January 2017 Mr Manafort told his former business partner Richard Gates he was using intermediaries to “get people appointed in the Administration,” according to the sworn statement of an FBI agent working for Mr Mueller included in the filing.

Gates, who also served on Trump’s presidential transition team, pleaded guilty last year to lying to the FBI and conspiracy against the United States and agreed to cooperate with Mr Mueller’s probe.

The filing also touched on Mr Manafort’s other alleged lies, including about his interactions with Konstantin Kilimnik, a former business partner who Mr Mueller has accused of having Russian intelligence ties. But due to heavy redactions it was unclear if the filing contained any major new revelations.

Last week, Mr Manafort’s lawyers in court papers inadvertently disclosed that Mr Manafort had shared polling data related to the Trump 2016 presidential campaign with Kilimnik.

Donald Trump calls Paul Manafort 'a good man' following eight counts of bank and tax fraud

The mistaken disclosure - caused by a formatting error that allowed redacted material to be viewed - triggered new concerns among legal experts and Democratic lawmakers about the extent of Mr Manafort’s Russia ties during his time on Trump’s campaign, which included three months as chairman.

Mr Mueller is investigating whether Russian interfered in the election and whether Trump campaign members coordinated with Moscow officials. Mr Trump, who denies any campaign collusion with Russia, says he did not know Mr Manafort shared the data. Russia denies interfering in US elections.

In addition to the polling data revelation, the filing also showed that Mr Mueller believed Mr Manafort lied to prosecutors about his discussions with Kilimnik on a “Ukrainian peace plan” and a previously undisclosed meeting between Mr Manafort and Kilimnik in Madrid. Mr Manafort’s lawyers said any incorrect statements by him were unintentional.

US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson has said she would review the evidence submitted by Mr Mueller and any reply by Mr Manafort’s team before deciding whether a hearing on the matter is necessary.

Reuters

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