FILE PHOTO: President Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort departs U.S. District Court after a motions hearing in Alexandria, Virginia, U.S., May 4,...
Jonathan Ernst

Manafort shared campaign polling with Russian, lied about it

Updated

In some court filings, sensitive information is redacted so that the public can’t see specific details. Some lawyers, however, are careless in their efforts to conceal information they intend to keep private.

Take Paul Manafort’s lawyers, for example.

President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort lied to federal investigators about sharing campaign poll data with a Russian associate linked to Russian intelligence services, according to court papers filed Tuesday.

The disclosure was made by Manafort’s lawyers in a poorly redacted section of court papers that were filed to rebut the special counsel’s allegations that he lied to federal investigators.

The point of the court filing was Manafort’s attempt to push back against claims that he violated his cooperation agreement with Special Counsel Robert Mueller by repeatedly lying.

There are still some details we don’t yet know about the nature of the polling in question – we don’t know, for example, whether this was private, proprietary data – but the revelations are nevertheless striking.

The man who led the sitting president’s political operation shared campaign information with Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian believed to have close ties to Russian intelligence, and Trump’s former campaign chairman also lied to U.S. law enforcement about the interactions.

In case this isn’t painfully obvious, it’s details like these that reinforce suspicions of cooperation between Team Trump and Moscow during the 2016 campaign.

NBC News’ report added, “The court papers also include poorly redacted lines that say Manafort and Kilimnick discussed a ‘Ukraine peace plan’ on more than one occasion. The redacted section also says that Manafort initially told investigators that he hadn’t met with Kilimnik in Madrid but the longtime GOP operative later admitted to the meeting after being told Kilimnik was there the same day.”

Manafort, of course, is already a convicted felon awaiting sentencing for his many misdeeds, while Kilimnik was charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly trying to assist Manafort.