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Manafort attorney’s redaction error reveals he provided Trump polling data to Russian operative

January 8, 2019

Attorneys for Paul Manafort appeared to have mistakenly filed a court document Tuesday that made portions that were supposed to be redacted completely readable.

And those portions revealed nuggets of information about Manafort’s ties to Russian national Konstantin Kilimnik, who has been linked to the Kremlin.

The redacted sections say the former Trump campaign manager and Mr. Kilimnik discussed a “Ukraine peace plan” and “on more than occasion” Manafort shared polling data related to the 2016 presidential campaign with his Russian associate.

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

The filing does not say when the meeting occurred. But an unredacted section notes some events occurred while Manafort was managing President Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Another redacted portion disclosed that an unknown individual texted Manafort about invoking his name if the individual met Mr. Trump.

Manafort’s attorneys insisted in the filing that the exchange did not constitute “outreach” to the president.

The redacted portions could be accessed by copying and pasting portions that are blacked out, meaning anyone with a computer could read what was meant to remain secret.

The filing was made in response to special counsel Robert Mueller’s claims that Manafort lied to investigators. Manafort’s attorney disputes the allegation saying he “provided complete and truthful information to the best of his ability.”

“He attempted to live up the requirements of his cooperation agreement and provided meaningful cooperation relating to several key areas under current government investigation,” Manafort attorney Kevin Downing wrote.

Although Manafort’s attorneys could request an evidentiary hearing on the claim he lied to Mr. Mueller’s team, they suggested the matter be addressed in a pre-sentencing report compiled by the probation office.

However, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson could hold such a hearing if she found it necessary.

Manafort’s lawyers said in the filing that any discrepancies in his cooperation could be due to the hours and length of his interviews. They said he began talking with investigators before dawn, answering questions for “many hours” and “usually the entire day.”

Mr. Mueller’s team said last month Manafort lied about his connection with Mr. Kilimnik and a wire transfer to a company he was working with.

But his attorneys on Tuesday chalked up the discrepancies to “confusion” on Manafort’s part. They said Manafort was unclear on how the payment was recorded by his accountant. His lawyers also said prosecutors have not provided witness statements disputing Manafort’s account.

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