Prosecutors had accused Manafort of telling "multiple discernible lies" over the course of 12 interviews with investigators and two grand jury appearancessince his guilty plea in September in Washington to conspiring to defraud the United States and conspiring to obstruct justice through his undisclosed lobbying for a pro-Russian politician in Ukraine.
Attorneys for Paul Manafort appeared to have mistakenly filed a court document Tuesday that made portions that were supposed to be redacted completely readable.
The court filing does not reveal when that meeting took place, but an unredacted section that follows highlights that it is "not uncommon, however, for a witnesses to have only a vague recollection about events that occured years prior" and that "these occurrences happened during a period when Mr. Manafort was managing a USA presidential campaign and had countless meetings, email communications, and other interactions with many different individuals, and traveled frequently".
"The same is true with regard to the Government's allegation that Mr. Manafort lied about sharing polling data with Mr. Kilimnik related to the 2016 presidential campaign", they wrote. (See Doc. 460 at 6).
Prosecutors have previously said they believe Kilimnik has ties to the military intelligence unit the GRU, which allegedly hacked the Democratic Party and leaked damaging emails while Manafort ran Trump's campaign operation. The Mueller team accused him in November of breaking that deal by lying to investigators.
Kevin Downing and Thomas Zehnle, defense attorneys for former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, leave U.S. District Court after a status hearing in Washington, Dec. 11, 2018.
The filing revealed the first extensive details of what Manfort is accused of having lied about.
Manafort is held in solitary confinement in prison, his lawyers noted, although they agreed it was for his own safety to be kept apart from the general prison population. Manafort is suffering from depression and anxiety and is at times confined to a wheelchair because of gout.
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In another faultily redacted portion, Manafort's attorneys revealed that an unnamed third party texted Manafort last May asking to use his name as a point of introduction if the person met with Trump.
In the document Manafort's lawyers referenced a December court filing in which Mueller alleged that Manafort had "conceded" to discussing the peace plan, which they argued was an indication that their client was forthcoming when his memory was refreshed of past events.
Prosecutors have also accused Manafort of lying about his contacts with Trump administration officials, which defence lawyers also deny. It's a major acknowledgment from the Mueller team that their investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election is finding potential contact between at least one Trump campaign official and the Kremlin.
The lawyers said Ukraine-related matters "simply were not at the forefront of Mr Manafort's mind during the period at issue".
Manafort was found guilty in August on eight counts of tax and bank-fraud in a Virginia case related in part to his work as an unregistered foreign lobbyist.
Manafort faces a tentative March 5 sentencing date in his federal case in the District.
Prosecutors said Manafort also lied about the circumstances of a $125,000 wire transfer in 2017.