Trump campaign chief gave polling data to Russian

Trump campaign chief gave polling data to Russian

"We filed our opposition yesterday under seal", said Jason Maloni, a spokesman for Manafort.

Mueller, who is investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 election, said in a court filing in March a year ago that the Federal Bureau of Investigation assesses that Kilimnik "has ties to a Russian intelligence service and had such ties in 2016".

The defence document acknowledges Manafort conceded he had met with Mr Kilimnik in Madrid only after being told that they had travelled to the city on the same day. He pleaded guilty a year ago to conspiracy charges in Washington and faces sentencing in a separate case in Virginia, though none of the charges are directly concerned with the alleged collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign. They say he suffers from depression and anxiety, has been kept away from his family and, on days when he met with investigators, was awakened before dawn to have hours-long conversations with Mueller's team.

"These circumstances weighed heavily on Mr. Manafort's state of mind and on his memory as he was questioned at length", the lawyers wrote.

The allegation is the first time prosecutors have accused Trump's chief campaign aide of sharing information related to the election with his Russian contacts. And in a third redaction apparently gone wrong, defense lawyers revealed that Manafort may have greenlighted an unnamed third party to drop his name if that person secured a meeting with President Trump. Much of the information about Kilimnik was redacted in the filing, although Manafort admitted he conspired with Kilimnik to obstruct justice. The US and European Union have imposed sanctions on Russian Federation over that move as well as the country's support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.

Manafort pleaded guilty in September 2018 to conspiracy charges and agreed to cooperate with Mueller's office in its probe of Russian interference in the election - but prosecutors say he broke that agreement by telling "multiple discernible lies".

Manafort's attorneys insisted in the filing that the exchange did not constitute "outreach" to the president.

Defense counsel for Manafort claim their client "did not recall having a conversation" with two Trump administration officials and that his recollection about contacts with Kilimnik is "unsurprising", because "these occurrences happened during a period when Mr. Manafort was managing a US presidential campaign and had countless meetings, email communications, and other interactions with many different individuals, and traveled frequently". It is unclear whether the polling data was related to the briefings for Deripaska.

Manafort reached the plea agreement with Mueller in September after a jury found him guilty of eight charges of tax evasion and bank fraud by a jury in the USA state of Virginia in August. The lawyers say they don't want a separate hearing before a judge on the lying allegations but will address them instead during the sentencing process.

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