Manafort Broke Gag Order, Ghost Wrote Op-Ed With Kremlin Connected Colleague

Mueller urges judge to deny Manafort's request to lift house arrest

Documents filed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Monday say that last week, President Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, was found to be working on an op-ed with a Russian colleague tied to a Russian intelligence service.

Mueller said that as late as Thursday, the day of the defense motion, "Manafort and a colleague were ghostwriting an editorial in English regarding his political work for Ukraine".

Prosecutors said the editorial Manafort was writing violated a court order prohibiting the parties in the case from making public statements outside of court that could influence jurors.

Manafort and his longtime associate Rick Gates were charged in a 12-count indictment that accused them of working as unregistered agents for the Ukrainian government and Ukrainian officials, and of laundering millions of dollars to hide their profits from that work.


"The editorial clearly was undertaken to influence the public's opinion of defendant 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)", it continued.

They said Manafort worked on the draft as recently as last week with "a long-time Russian colleague. who is now based in Russia and assessed to have ties to a Russian intelligence service". Prosecutors said Manafort's co-writer, who was not named, is a longtime colleague "who is now based in Russia and assessed to have ties to a Russian intelligence service".

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. Manafort allegedly owed Deripaska $19 million for an investment the oligarch made in the Ukrainian TV company Black Sea Cable, a business venture which fell through. He served as an officer in the Russian military for several years. They met twice in person, in May 2016 and then again in August 2016, when their dinner conversation at New York's Grand Havana Room included discussion of the presidential campaign, Kilimnik told The Post this June. Manafort has denied any wrongdoing.

"Because Manafort has now taken actions that reflect an intention to violate or circumvent the Court's existing Orders, at a time one would expect particularly scrupulous adherence, the government submits that the proposed bail package is insufficient reasonably to assure his appearance as required". U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson reprimanded Manafort's attorney, Kevin Downing, for talking to the media after Manafort appeared in court for his indictment.

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