Paul Manafort shared 2016 presidential campaign polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik, an associate the FBI has said has ties to Russian intelligence, according to a court filing.
The information is in a filing that appears to inadvertently include details not intended to be made public and indicates a pathway by which the Russians could have had access to Trump campaign data.
The former Trump campaign chairman on Tuesday denied in a filing from his defense team that he broke his plea deal by lying repeatedly to prosecutors working for special counsel Robert S. Mueller III about that and other issues.
In his rebuttal to the special counsel’s claims of dishonesty, Manafort exposed details of the dispute, much of which centers on his relationship with Kilimnik. The Russian citizen, who began working for Manafort’s consulting firm starting in 2005, has been charged with helping his former boss to obstruct Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference into the 2016 election. He is believed to be in Moscow.
The special counsel alleged Manafort “lied about sharing polling data with Mr. Kilimnik related to the 2016 presidential campaign,” according to the unredacted filing. The source of that data, including whether it came from the Trump campaign, is unclear.
According to the court filing, the special counsel also accused Manafort of lying about discussing a Ukrainian peace plan with Kilimnik during the 2016 campaign.
“Manafort ‘conceded’ that he discussed or may have discussed a Ukraine peace plan with Mr. Kilimnik on more than one occasion,” his attorneys quote the special counsel as saying, and “’acknowledged’ that he and Mr. Kilimnik met while they were both in Madrid,” without giving a date.
Manafort was in close contact with Kilimnik through the campaign, including meeting with him in the United States in May and again in August 2016.
Manafort’s lawyers provided no additional details about the “Ukrainian peace plan,” in their filing.
In January 2017, Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen has said he was given a Russian-friendly peace plan for Ukraine during a meeting at a New York hotel with a Ukrainian lawmaker and Felix Sater, a longtime Trump business associate.
The proposal would have paved the way for the United States to lift sanctions on Russia, a top foreign policy goal of the Kremlin. Manafort told The Washington Post in 2017 he had “no role” in the episode.
In emails first reported by The Post, Manafort, who was deeply in debt at the time he agreed to work for Trump’s campaign for no pay, wrote to Kilimnik during the campaign and said he hoped to use his campaign role to “get whole.” He also asked Kilimnik to offer private briefings about the campaign to Oleg Deripaska, a Russian businessman who is close to Putin and to whom Manafort owed money. A spokeswoman for Deripaska has said he was never offered or received briefings about the Trump campaign.