Mueller says Manafort said "understandable lies", including contacts with an employee charged with having Russian intelligence connections


Special adviser Robert S. Mueller III said on Friday that Paul Manafort, former president of the Trump campaign, said "multiple recognizable lies" during interviews with prosecutors, including his contacts with an employee who is accused of having ties with Russian intelligence.

In a document filed in the federal court Friday, Mueller also said that Manafort lied about his contacts with Trump administration officials after Trump took office. Manafort had told investigators that he had not had direct or indirect contact with White House officials since the inauguration of Trump, but Manafort had been in contact with officials like spring, according to the filing.

Manafort told a colleague in February – four months after being indicted – that he was in contact with a senior administration official at the time. And in a text message, he authorized another person to speak with a White House official on May 26th.

The message arrived two days after Trump received significant publicity for issuing a posthumous pardon to boxer Jack Johnson. Trump has publicly ruminated on the possibility of forgiving Manafort, which legal experts have said could influence Manafort not to offer his full assistance from Mueller.

The key points of the document presented Friday were drafted from the public point of view, making it difficult to get a complete picture of what Manafort has been asked for in interviews with the investigators since September.

As former campaign president and main campaign supporter from March to August 2016, Manafort could have been a key first-hand witness for Mueller as the special consultant explores contacts between Trump's members and the Russians. But the document illustrates how completely the Manafort affair has been unraveled.

In August, Manafort was convicted of taxes and bank fraud in Virginia. He pleaded guilty in September of further charges, including conspiring to defraud the United States by hiding years of income and failing to disclose lobbying for a pro-Russian political party and politician in Ukraine.

This request helped him avoid a second trial in Washington and offered the former Republican official the hope of some clemency in condemnation – provided he worked with prosecutors and provided truthful testimony.

The prosecutors of Mueller's team informed the judge last week, however, that they believed Manafort had violated the agreement by lying to them repeatedly. Manafort's lawyers said Manafort did not believe he was lying or violating the agreement.

In the new filing, prosecutors offered to organize further documentary evidence in the future to explain how they know Manafort is lying. For now, they explained that Manafort had lied "in many ways", the conduct they said should be held against him when he is convicted in March.

Prosecutors said Manafort met 12 investigators from the special council. At four of these meetings public prosecutors attended the office of the special adviser, a sign that he was questioned in connection with separate investigations by the Mueller probe. He also testified twice before the grand jury of Mueller.

Prosecutors said Friday that Manafort told numerous lies in five different aspects of the investigation, including his contacts with Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian employee of Manafort's political advisory firm, who according to magistrates has Russian intelligence links .

Manafort met twice during the campaign with Kilimnik, including in August 2016 in New York City. Kilimnik told the Washington Post that the two discussed the presidential campaign during the New York meeting.

Much of a section of the Kilimnik deposit was drafted, but prosecutors said they obtained electronic records, travel documents, and other evidence that Manafort "lied repeatedly" about his interactions with the Russian assistant. .

In 2005, Manafort hired Kilimnik as a translator and director of the office for the political advisory office in Kiev. Kilimnik was a key link to Manafort with politicians in Ukraine and Russian businessmen, notably Oleg Deripaska, an aluminum magnate who had partnered with Manafort for a deal.

Kilimnik, who is believed to be in Russia, has been charged by Mueller's office to conspire with Manafort to obstruct Manafort's work investigations in Ukraine. According to the new filing, Manafort pleaded guilty to conspiring with Kilimnik in an effort to force witnesses into Mueller's probe to give false testimony, only to deny it in a post-plea interview, before overturning again and granting that his request was truthful.

The special adviser also accused Manafort of lying about a bank transfer of $ 125,000. It is unclear how this transaction refers to the detailed conspiracies in Manafort's agreement, but prosecutors have said that Manafort has repeatedly lied about the details of the transaction.

In addition, Manafort was interviewed in relation to a separate investigation from the one conducted by the special consultant's office, according to the court's presentation. Prosecutors said they lied about that case too.

Manafort, 69, who is in prison in Alexandria, is one of the five former helpers of the Trump campaign who pleaded guilty to crimes in the field of special advice. Trump distanced himself from his former campaign president, emphasizing that Manafort worked for him only for a few months.

But Manafort was present for important moments for the investigation in Russia. For example, he attended a meeting with a Russian Trump Tower lawyer organized by Donald Trump Jr. after the president's son was informed that the lawyer would share harmful information about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. And he was alongside Trump in July 2016, while WikiLeaks released thousands of emails stolen from the Democratic Party.

He also has extensive relationships with businessmen and politicians in the former Soviet Union, due to his years as an international political advisor, in particular because of his work for a president of Ukraine supported by Russia.


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