Lawyers: Manafort suffers from depression, anxiety - 1/8/2019 12:38:57 PM

ABC Television

ABC Television

Paul Manafort's lawyers did a shoddy job redacting a new court filing - inadvertently revealing that he's accused of sharing polling data from the 2016 presidential election with an alleged Russian spy.

In a 10-page response to the government's accusation that Manafort breached his plea deal filed on Tuesday afternoon, there are four stretches of black lines that ought to have contained no text at all.

The filing contains new information about Manafort's connections to Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian-Ukrainian business associate who was indicted a year ago on charges he tampered with potential witnesses.

Mueller, who is investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 election, said in a court filing in March previous year that the Federal Bureau of Investigation assesses that Kilimnik "has ties to a Russian intelligence service and had such ties in 2016".

"The same is true with regard to the Government's allegation that Mr Manafort lied about sharing polling data with Mr Kilimnik related to the 2016 presidential campaign".

Manafort, after being convicted of various bank and tax fraud charges, had agreed last September to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation into allegations of collusion between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation.

Another revelation that was meant to be kept under wraps was a meeting between Manafort and Mr. Kilimnik in Madrid.

The disclosure suggests that one part of Mueller's probe is focusing on whether Kilimnik may have served as a back channel through Manafort to Russian Federation during the election.

Manafort joined Trump's presidential campaign in March 2016 and became his campaign chairman in May.

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Manafort's lawyers argue in the filings he did not break his plea deal because he did not lie intentionally.

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.

The former official will be sentenced for those crimes in February. 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.

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".

The Russian citizen was a long-time employee of Manafort's political consulting firm and had done extensive lobbying work for him in Ukraine on behalf of the country's then pro-Russian President, Viktor Yanukovych.

However, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson could hold such a hearing if she found it necessary. Manafort "lied in multiple ways and on multiple occasions", prosecutors wrote, saying "these were not instances of mere memory lapses".

The defence team says Mr Mueller's team has indicated it will not pursue additional charges against Manafort.

Manafort has pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in Washington and faces sentencing in a separate case in Virginia.

For the two charges he now faces in DC federal court, Manafort could receive 17 to 22 years in prison, his plea agreement says.

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