Trump campaign chief gave polling data to Russian


Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been accused of sharing polling data during the 2016 presidential election with a business associate allegedly linked to Russian intelligence - and then lying about it to prosecutors.

"The defense contests the government's conclusion [that Manafort lied] and contends that any alleged misstatements, to the extent they occurred at all, were not intentional", his lawyers said.

He led the Trump campaign during the Republican convention when, USA intelligence officials say, Russian Federation was working to sway the election in Mr Trump's favour. The Mueller team accused him in November of breaking that deal by lying to investigators.

What remains unknown is whether Trump or others on the campaign were aware that Manafort provided Kilimnik and Deripaska with polling data.

Manafort's attorneys reported he has been suffering from severe gout, anxiety and depression - conditions that may have affected his ability to recall events during his tumultuous service on the Trump campaign. The request to use Manafort as an introduction to Trump came while Manafort was under indictment in two federal cases.

The financial institution, labeled "Company A" in court documents, must pay $50,000 a day until it complies with a grand jury subpoena, but the lower court blocked execution of that penalty while the company appealed.

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Manafort managed the Trump campaign for five months in 2016, during the time Mr Trump clinched his party's nomination What did we learn from the documents?

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As part of a document meant to defend Manafort against accusations that he lied to federal prosecutors after signing onto a cooperation agreement with special counsel Robert Mueller, his defense counsel failed to adequately redact sections of their filing.

Manafort and Kilimnik were charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice by attempting to tamper with witnesses after Manafort had been already been indicted for other crimes.

The lawyers said Ukraine-related matters "simply were not at the forefront of Mr Manafort's mind during the period at issue".

This is the first time prosecutors with Mueller's team have accused President Trump's associate of being in touch with a Russian contact in relation to the presidential election. Manafort had told investigators he'd no direct or indirect contact with White House officials since Trump's inauguration, but Manafort had been in touch with officials as recently as the spring, according to the filing.

Manafort's lawyers responded that any such conversation did "not constitute outreach by Mr Manafort to the President" and said the prosecution's second example was "hearsay".

Manafort's attorneys also argued that some of the special counsel's arguments were not sound.

Manafort, who earned millions of dollars for his political consulting work for Ukraine's former pro-Russia government, has emerged as a key figure in Mueller's investigation.