Published: Sun, February 10, 2019

Mueller alleges Manafort continued Ukraine work despite indictment

Mueller alleges Manafort continued Ukraine work despite indictment

After President Donald Trump's former Campaign Chair Paul Manafort was found guilty on 8 counts of federal criminal charges brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, he chose to try his luck and avoid a second trial by becoming a cooperating witness in the Russian Federation investigation. A redacted version of the transcript was released Thursday.

At one point in the discussion, Weissmann describes how Manafort told prosecutors that his topic of discussion with Kilimnik was a "backdoor [REDACTED]. and because of that, he was not going to countenance it".

But, prosecutors say, Manafort met with Kilimnik several times throughout 2017 and even into 2018, and discussed Ukrainian policy again and again.

A judge confirmed in a court filing Thursday that federal prosecutors in NY are still investigating campaign finance crimes committed when Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid two women to stay silent about alleged affairs with Trump.

The meeting and what happened at the meeting is of significance to the special counsel.

Mueller's prosecutors, who have charged more than 30 people, are investigating whether anyone in the Trump campaign conspired with Russians. It means the special counsel believes Manafort could increase his chances of a pardon by with a criminal lie.

In addition to the August 2, 2016 meeting, which took place at the Grand Havana Club, a cigar bar in Manhattan, Manafort and Kilimnik also discussed the Ukraine-related issue in December 2016 and twice in early 2017, according to the transcript.

If a judge determines Manafort lied after his plea, it could affect the sentencing he would receive after his admission that he conspired to defraud the United States, violate lobbying laws and obstruct justice in connection with years of undisclosed work for a pro-Russian political party and Ukrainian politician Viktor Yanukovych.

"I think Mr. Manafort went out of his way in this instance ... to not want to provide any evidence that could be used with respect to Mr. Kilimnik", deputy special counsel Andrew Weissmann told U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson during the court session, which spanned more than four hours, including a lunch break. Kilimnik was indicted past year with Manafort on witness tampering charges.

Jackson is set to sentence Manafort on March 13 for two conspiracy counts. He also was convicted by a jury in August in a separate federal case in Virginia for bank and tax fraud crimes. Gates also spoke to investigators about Manafort sharing the polling data, according to the transcript. And in 2016. there is an in-person meeting with someone who the government has certainly proffered to this court in the past, is understood by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, assessed to be - have a relationship with Russian intelligence, that there is [redacted].

The transcript does reveal that Rick Gates, Manafort's longtime protege who also served on the Trump campaign, attended the meeting.

President Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort has some big problems.

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