Lawyers for Paul Manafort submitted a court filing Wednesday pushing back on special counsel Robert Mueller’s claims that Manafort lied to investigators since coming to a cooperation agreement with prosecutors. The filing — which is heavily redacted in its public form — comes ahead of a hearing scheduled for Friday on the dispute.
Manafort on Wednesday argued that a “fair reading” of the most recent filing by Mueller — the declaration of the FBI agent and a set of supporting documents, which were mostly redacted — “does not support the conclusion that Mr. Manafort intentionally provided false information. ”
“Based upon the pleadings and record, Mr. Manafort does not believe the materials supplied by the OSC demonstrate any intentional falsehoods on this part,” Manafort said in his filing Wednesday. He also suggested that the judge presiding over his case in D.C., U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, need not consider any additional evidence in deciding whether Manafort breached his plea deal. Jackson last week had hinted she’d be open to hearing from additional witnesses in the dispute.
Mueller has alleged that Manafort misled investigators on five topics: a $125,000 payment made on his behalf; his efforts to engage in witness tampering with his Russian business associate, Konstantin Kilimnik; other interactions he had with Kilimnik; his contacts with Trump administration officials; and a separate unspecified Justice Department investigation.
Manafort on Wednesday argued that Mueller hadn’t provided the evidence to “demonstrate any intentional falsehoods” and said that this was “particularly so given the relatively few issues identified based on more than 12 proffer and interview sessions.”
Perhaps the most explosive of the allegations Mueller made against Manafort concerned his alleged false statements about his interactions with Kilimnik — the details of which were inadvertently revealed by a redaction error in a previous filing from Manafort’s lawyers. Manafort, it appeared, has been accused of lying about an early 2017 meeting in Madrid with Kilimnik and about sharing poll data with him, allegedly asking the data be passed along to Kremlin-aligned oligarchs. That filing additionally revealed that Kilimnik and Manafort were working on a so-called “peace plan” for Ukraine. Mueller’s filing indicated the work on the plan continued through spring 2018.
Manafort’s Wednesday filing, which was properly redacted, did not provide any new details about those episodes, however it hints at the timing of them.
“Indeed, many of these events occurred years ago, or during a high-pressure U.S.
presidential campaign he managed when his time was extraordinarily limited, or during the difficult time that followed his departure from the 2016 presidential campaign because of the allegations leveled at him and the investigations that followed,” Manafort said Wednesday.
Read the filing below: