Paul Manafort Shared 2016 Trump Campaign Polling Intel With Known Russian Intelligence Operative
According to a court filing from his legal team, Paul Manafort, Donald Trump‘s 2016 campaign chairman, shared polling data with an associate from Ukraine who had connections to Russian intelligence. While still working for the then-presidential contender, Manafort met with the same associate, Konstantin Kilimnik, when he visited Madrid. Kilimnik has been identified by the FBI as a known Russian intelligence operative.
As it stands, Manafort is accused of lying to the special counsel, who is investigating potential collusion between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia. Allegedly, Manafort failed to be truthful about his two conferences with Killmnik “on more than one occasion.” However, this information was not publicly known until the court documents were published Tuesday. Moreover, the filings also reveal that Manafort shared an exchange with a currently unidentified individual who was hoping to meet with Trump.
While the information was redacted on the ten-page document itself, Politico explains how “cutting and pasting the blacked-out markings into another word-processing document showed what had been redacted.” Manafort’s legal team resubmitted the paper work after blocking the information again, but the original version had already been widely circulated on the internet by that point.
His lawyers continue to insist Manafort’s inaccuracies in his testimony to Robert Mueller “were not intentional,” happening because their client was not prepared for his meetings due to him having suffered through months of solitary confinement. Manafort’s legal team contest this had “taken a toll on his physical and mental health,” leading to “depression and anxiety” as well as a case of gout. “These circumstances weighed heavily on Mr. Manafort’s state of mind and on his memory as he was questioned at length,” they had written.
According to Mueller, Manafort kept up contact with Trump aides and sent text messages to an unknown third-party who asked if his name could be used “as an introduction in the event the third-party met the President.” Manafort’s lawyers maintain this “does not constitute outreach by Mr. Manafort to the President,” arguing they would retaliate if Mueller and the special counsel brought on new charges against their client.