Robert Mueller Accuses Manafort of Sharing Poll Data With Russian

Robert Mueller Accuses Manafort of Sharing Poll Data With Russian

Manafort's lawyers wrote in an improperly redacted portion of the brief that prosecutors said he lied about "sharing polling data with Mr. Kilimnik related to the 2016 presidential campaign".

The lawyers said that Manafort "provided complete and truthful information to the best of his ability", and that he "attempted to live up to the requirements of his cooperation agreement and provided meaningful cooperation relating to several key areas under current government investigation". Kilimnik has been charged alongside Manafort with witness tampering as part of Mueller's sprawling investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election and is believed to have links to the GRU, the Russian intelligence unit blamed for hacking Democrats' emails in 2016.

The accusation could be important evidence in Mueller's ongoing probe into potential coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

The two men also discussed a peace plan for Ukraine, according to the court documents.

In the new filing, Manafort's lawyers argue that he didn't lie so much as forget.

The filing did not indicate whether the polling information involved internal campaign data or when exactly it was provided.

The Mueller prosecutors, who for 20 months have been investigating Trump campaign links to Russian Federation and whether Trump, as president, tried to illegally obstruct the probe, contended that Manafort lied about least five subjects.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson had given Manafort's lawyers until Monday to make a decision.

Following the filing by Manafort's lawyers, Jackson ordered the government to submit evidence supporting their allegations by January 14, and held out the option of holding a hearing on the matter on January 25. He pleaded guilty previous year to conspiracy charges in Washington and faces sentencing in a separate case in Virginia, though none of the charges are directly concerned with the alleged collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign.

The allegation is the first time prosecutors have accused Trump's chief campaign aide of sharing information related to the election with his Russian contacts.

Manafort agreed to cooperate with Mueller when he admitted to two conspiracy counts in Washington on September 14, a month after jurors convicted him in Virginia of tax and bank fraud. If he is found to have breached the deal, he would lose any sentencing credits for acceptance of responsibility, prosecutors said.

Manafort told a colleague in February - four months after he was indicted - he was in contact with a senior administration official through that time, prosecutors said.

Under the agreement with prosecutors in his D.C. case, Manafort also was ordered to forfeit an estimated $15 million he hid from the IRS, but was permitted to keep some property held with relatives. And in a text message, he authorized another person to speak with a White House official on May 26, they alleged. He's also suffering from depression and anxiety, it said.

Manafort has been confined to the jail in Alexandria, Virginia. Manafort's filing sheds little light on that transaction.

Court watchers and the judge anticipated that the Manafort team would either push back on Mueller's team's assertions-like they previously indicated they would-or agree not to fight the special counsel as Manafort headed to sentencing.

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