Had it been published, prosecutors say it would have violated a November 8 court order not to discuss the case publicly.
The special counsel investigating potential Trump campaign connections to Russia withdrew its support for a deal that would have eased former campaign manager Paul Manafort's bail conditions after the lobbyist was discovered ghostwriting an op-ed with a colleague tied to Russian intelligence. He was working on the draft "with a long-time Russian colleague of Manafort's, who is now based in Russia and assessed to have ties to a Russian intelligence service", according to the special counsel's office.
Prosecutors did not provide any details about what the editorial would have said, beyond the fact that it would address Manafort's political work in Ukraine and would be in English.
"The editorial clearly was undertaken to influence the public's opinion of Manafort, or else there would be no reason to seek its publication (much less for Manafort and his long-time associate to ghostwrite it in another's name)", the special counsel wrote.
The op-ed was never published, but government lawyers wrote the violation shows Manafort is untrustworthy.
Even if the editorial were "entirely accurate, fair, and balanced", it would still violate US District Judge Amy Berman's Jackson's gag order, because it was aimed at swaying public opinion, prosecutors argued.
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A spokesman for Manafort did not immediately return a message requesting comment.
As part of that deal, he would forfeit four of his real estate properties if he violated his bail conditions. "And, to be clear, Global Positioning System monitoring was never sought nor requested by either party".
Initially, Manafort's lawyers had said in their court filing that the special counsel's office was willing to accept the proposed terms of his release.
Manafort was indicted in October and charged with conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, failing to properly file his foreign-made finances, acting as an unregistered foreign agent and making false statements.
A docket in the criminal case against Manafort and Gates, unsealed earlier this month, alleged that both men had received "millions of dollars" from Ukrainian and Russian oligarchs that would allow them "to live comfortably abroad" and therefore make them a flight risk.