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Prosecutors secure Manafort's edits for op-ed while under house arrest

Prosecutors for special counsel Robert Mueller are revealing they know every word former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort changed in an opinion piece about his involvement in Ukrainian politics.

They say they tracked the changes he made as he edited the piece while under house arrest.

To support its case, CBS News' Paula Reid reports, the special counsel unsealed evidence Friday showing that shortly after Manafort resigned from his position as campaign manager in August 2016, he formulated a press strategy with his associate Rick Gates to defend himself.  That strategy included talking points that are mirrored in the op-ed piece.  

The documents released by Mueller include a copy of the op-ed with "track-changes" highlighted and also provide the metadata showing that Manafort made each of the changes.

Prosecutors say the op-ed was part of a public effort Manafort was trying to orchestrate that would have violated a judge's order to refrain from trying his case in the press.

Manafort's attorneys argue that he had only edited the piece after receiving it from a former Ukrainian public official whom he knew through his consulting work in Ukraine. The work on the op-ed, they maintain, is connected to his lobbying work in Ukraine and has nothing to do with his case, Reid reports. They also say Manafort didn't violate the judge's order and was exercising his free speech rights to defend himself, given that his reputation has been publicly "battered."

Paul Manafort, Rick Gates to remain under house arrest

Manafort is fighting charges of money laundering, false statements and conspiracy that stemmed from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election meddling. The case is taking place in federal court in Washington, D.C. 

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