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Special counsel releases FBI affidavit on Manafort's lies to governement

Manafort allegedly shared data with Russian operative

The special counsel's office has released an affidavit by FBI agents detailing former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's lies to federal prosecutors since he entered into a plea agreement with the special counsel in September.

After being found guilty on a host of financial crimes in August, Manafort entered into a plea agreement requiring he "cooperate fully, truthfully, completely, and forthrightly" with the special counsel and any other government investigators. Special Counsel Robert Mueller accused Manafort of violating the plea deal in November, by lying to federal investigators "on a variety of subject matters."

The special counsel filed a memo in December saying that Manafort's lies to federal investigators were not simply "memory lapses" on his part. Manafort lied about several things in breach of his plea deal, including his contact with Konstantin Kilimnik, who ran Manafort's office in Kiev. Kilimnik, who has ties to Russian intelligence, was indicted in June. Much of the information about Kilimnik was redacted in the filing, although Manafort admitted he conspired with Kilimnik to obstruct justice.

The heavily redacted affidavit by FBI agents offered evidence of Manafort's lies to investigators. The affidavit was written by Jeffrey Weiland, who participated in multiple sessions between Manafort and the special counsel's office and the FBI in September, October and November.

The affidavit mentions his contact with Kilimnik, and it alleges that Manafort lied about a payment made toward a debt incurred by him to a firm that was working for him in 2017. 

The affidavit also addressed another allegation in the special counsel's December memo: while Manafort said he had no "direct or indirect communications" with anyone in the Trump administration and never "asked anyone to try to communicate a message to anyone in the Administration," the special counsel says he was lying about this, too. Manafort asked someone to speak with an administration official on his behalf by text on May 26, 2018 and had been in communication with a senior administration official through February 2018.

The affidavit was released the week after attorneys for Manafort, former Trump campaign chairman, submitted a poorly redacted filing revealing that Manafort shared polling data with a Russian operative during the campaign.

Claire Hymes contributed reporting

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