Manafort is accused of sharing polling data with Russian associate

Manafort is accused of sharing polling data with Russian associate

By Geoff West   
Published
Paul Manafort (Twitter photo)

WASHINGTON — Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort shared polling data with a suspected Russian intelligence officer ahead of the 2016 presidential election, according to an unsealed court filing.

Manafort’s lawyers inadvertently made the information public in a partially unredacted document filed in response to allegations he failed to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russian investigation of possible collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump’s campaign.

Manafort, who was convicted of banking and tax fraud last year, is accused of breaking a plea deal by lying to investigators. The court document filed by Manafort’s team this week was intended to rebuff those allegations.

The court document says Manafort is accused of lying to investigators about sharing 2016 campaign polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik, a business associate identified by the special counsel as a former Russian intelligence officer. It’s unknown how the data was used.  

The filing also says Manafort is accused of lying about discussing a Ukrainian peace deal with Kilimnik.

From March until August 2016, Manafort was Trump’s campaign manager and helped Trump secure the Republican nomination for president.

As campaign manager, Manafort attended a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower in New York. There campaign officials met with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and others to discuss damaging information against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Veselnitskaya has been charged with obstruction of justice as part of the Russian interference probe.

Manafort is set to be sentenced Feb. 8 in Alexandria, Va., after being found guilty of eight bank and tax fraud charges in August related to his work as an unregistered foreign lobbyist advocating on behalf of a pro-Russian faction in Ukraine.

Manafort is also tentatively scheduled to be sentenced March 5 in Washington, D.C., on separate federal crimes after pleading guilty in September to single counts of conspiracy against the U.S. and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

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