Manafort Allegedly Shared Polling Data With Russian Operative

Manafort case goes silent on night when major filing due

Lawyers for Paul Manafort apparently mistakenly filed a court document Tuesday that revealed redacted material- including accusations Manafort shared 2016 campaign polling data with a Russian national linked to the Kremlin.

"The defence contests the Government's conclusion and contends that any alleged misstatements, to the extent they occurred at all, were not intentional", Manafort's lawyers said in the filing, which was filed on Monday and released by the court on Tuesday. The U.S. claims Kilimnik is linked to Russian intelligence, which is accused of leading the election interference effort in 2016, but he denies those ties. Trump has said there was no collusion between his campaign and Moscow.

Defense counsel for Manafort claim their client "did not recall having a conversation" with two Trump administration officials and that his recollection about contacts with Kilimnik is "unsurprising", because "these occurrences happened during a period when Mr. Manafort was managing a USA presidential campaign and had countless meetings, email communications, and other interactions with many different individuals, and traveled frequently".

Manafort's lawyers said he "provided complete and truthful information to the best of his ability" during multiple meetings with a grand jury and prosecutors.

The filing did not indicate whether the polling information involved internal campaign data or when exactly it was provided. "He also suffers from depression and anxiety and, due to the facility's visitation regulations, has had very little contact with his family". While the redactions don't specifically mention the Trump campaign by name, they do mention the "2016 presidential campaign".

Tuesday's developments are the latest dramatic turn of events in Manafort's case, more than a year after Mueller first charged him with a series of crimes stemming from his lobbying on behalf of a pro-Russian oligarch and political party in Ukraine.

The judge in DC federal court who has overseen his case, Amy Berman Jackson, gave him the opportunity to respond before she would hold a hearing about the facts of the situation.

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The New York Times followed up with more details of the hand-off, reporting that Manafort instructed Kilimnik to provide the information to Deripaska, a billionaire aluminum magnate with close ties to Vladimir Putin.

A hearing has been tentatively scheduled on the matter for January 25 if the judge deems it necessary, though Manafort's attorneys did not request one in the filing Tuesday.

The disclosure emerged in a legal brief filed by Manafort's defense lawyers, who are resisting the idea he intentionally lied to special counsel Robert Mueller, lies that the investigators said should torpedo his plea deal.

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.

Manafort is scheduled to be sentenced on February 8 for his Virginia jury convictions for bank and tax fraud. In return for his cooperation, he hoped to have prosecutors recommend leniency, possibly slicing years off his prison term. Kilimnik only faces a charge from Mueller related to allegedly helping Manafort tamper with witnesses following his arrest.

Prosecutors said Manafort also lied about the circumstances of a $125,000 wire transfer in 2017.

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