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Saturday, February 16, 2019

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

 

After being convicted on eight counts of bank fraud and tax evasion brought by special counsel Robert Mueller, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort accepted a plea agreement last September to avoid a second trial in which he agreed to cooperate in the Russia investigation.

But two months later, Mueller dropped a bombshell when he accused Manafort of breaching the agreement by lying to prosecutors.

On Tuesday, Mueller filed a 200-page document in federal court, detailing his evidence that Manafort was not truthful in his dealings.

Although the heavy redactions make it impossible to see the entire scope of the evidence laid out against Manafort, there are a few tidbits that can be gleaned.

First, as BuzzFeed News legal reporter Zoe Tillman notes, a declaration from an FBI special agent states that the agency discovered a document dated 5/5/18 that reportedly contradicts Manafort’s claims about his contacts with the Trump administration. Another section reveals that Manafort’s former associate Rick Gates told the FBI Manafort discussed trying to use intermediaries to get jobs in the administration in January 2017. Yet another section revealed a text message in which Manafort told an unspecified person to use his name if they talked to Trump.

Manafort has been a central target of the Russia investigation from the beginning, due to his work for foreign governments and debt to a Russian oligarch. He agreed to work for the Trump campaign for free, and had an influential role, picking Mike Pence as Trump’s running mate, and leading the campaign as it pressured the Republican National Committee to take anti-Russia language out of their platform. And a recent court filing inadvertently revealed that Manafort shared polling data with an associate believed to be connected to Russian intelligence.

 

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