Special Counsel Robert Mueller submitted a court filing detailing former Trump campaign manager Paul Manfort’s breach of the plea agreement made between the two parties, as detailed in Mueller’s filing this afternoon.
In the filing, which is heavily redacted and partly under seal, Mueller discloses five key lies that the special counsel alleges Manafort told investigators. Two of the main allegations involve Manafort’s interaction with suspected Russian intelligence agent Konstantin Kilimnik, one of which involves a meeting between Kilimnik and a redacted individual, and the other involving an conspiracy between Manafort and Kilimnik to craft a narrative with potential witnesses for the prosecution regarding the participation of foreign lobbyists in the Trump campaign, a charge to which Manafort pleaded guilty in September.
The third alleged lie that Manafort told involves a mysterious $125,000 wire transfer between two unnamed firms on Manafort’s behalf. The fourth complaint that Mueller filed involves Manafort changing his story regarding “an investigation in another district.” The final allegation is that Manafort made several contacts with various members of the Trump administration over the past year after telling investigators that he “had no direct or indirect communications with anyone in the Administration.”
Kilimnik was heavily involved with crafting a pro-Russian political strategy with Manafort, according to CNBC. Kilimnik worked closely with Manafort and served as a liaison between Manafort and Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who paid Manafort $10 million to help influence politics and media coverage in Eastern Europe and western nations and “train a cadre of leaders who can be relied upon in future governments.”
The $125,000 transfer may be part of the transaction that came up in Manafort’s previous trial in which indicted co-conspirator Rick Gates submitted a false invoice to Global Endeavor, Inc., that was paid to Bade LLC, a company that Gates owned, for “professional services,” according to All Sides.
Manafort remained in contact with the Trump administration into at least the early summer, according to the court filing. Mueller’s filing cites a “text exchange from May 26” seeking to have a surrogate relay information to the Trump administration, and communication with “a senior Administration official” through February. Mueller’s filing suggests that investigators have obtained a number of documents related to Manafort’s communications with the Trump administration.
The related “investigation in another district” may very well be the prosecution of Michael Cohen by U.S. attorneys. In today’s court filing from the Southern District of New York in the related prosecution of President Trump’s former attorney, Cohen, prosecutors came to the conclusion that “Invidivual-1” (reported to be President Trump, and also the same nomenclature that Mueller’s reports use) committed at least two felonies related to the 2016 campaign, according to Law & Crime.
Should the evidence against Manafort stand up to scrutiny in court proceedings, that number could multiply significantly given the implications of Mueller’s filing. That will leave the Mueller investigation in a difficult position, as they have repeatedly maintained that the special counsel will conform to Department of Justice standards that a sitting president may not be prosecuted.
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