Mueller Interviewed Trump Campaign Pollster, Manafort Associate In February

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Mueller Interviewed Trump Campaign Pollster, Manafort Associate In February

U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered Mueller to respond by January 14 with "factual and evidentiary basis" for why it is accusing Manafort of lying during his cooperation. Manafort has pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in Washington and faces sentencing in a separate case in Virginia.

They also defended their client's recollections of his meetings with Kilimnik, a Russian-Ukrainian citizen who served as his key representative on the ground in Ukraine during a series of political campaigns in which Manafort served as a highly paid consultant. "Nothing about it", he said in response to a reporter's question.

Rinat Akhmetov - one of Ukraine's wealthiest men - said in a statement to CNN Thursday that allegations of contacts with Manafort and Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian-intelligence-linked associate of Manafort, were "false" and that Manafort's work for Akhmetov's System Capital Management (SCM) ended over a decade ago.

Another witness, testifying against Manafort under oath, said Manafort and Akhmetov "knew each other well".

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That information was included in a court filing this week that appeared to inadvertently include details not meant to be made public and indicates a pathway by which the Russians could have had access to Trump campaign data. They since confirmed that he was interviewed by Mueller's team. Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni said Tuesday the Madrid trip mentioned in the filing occurred in January or February 2017- months after Manafort was ousted from the campaign and as Trump was taking office. Russian Federation and Ukraine have been locked in a conflict since 2014 over Russia's annexation of Crimea.

Manafort's attorneys don't specify the details of the peace plan but they write that Manafort told prosecutors in September that "he would have given the Ukrainian peace plan more thought, had the issue not been raised during the period he was engaged with work related to the presidential campaign. At the time, the special counsel had been digging into Manafort's finances and political work ahead of his trial". What is new is that Mueller thinks that Manafort is still lying about it.

Mueller's team has also charged Kilimnik with conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstruction of justice.

He referred Reuters to Schiff's statement that lawmakers on the committee "need to find out" about Manafort's interaction with Kilimnik on polling data.

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