Manafort attorneys dispute accusations he lied to Mueller, say he gave ‘truthful’ information


Attorneys for Paul ManafortRobert MuellerPresident TrumpDonald John TrumpNebraska governor refuses to sign proclamation honoring book whose author criticized Trump Trump fundraises off prime-time address Network debate on carrying Trump address is laughably hypocritical MORE ‘s one-time campaign chairman lied to prosecutors in breach of his plea agreement.Robert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE that Paul John ManafortManafort attorneys file response under seal to Mueller’s lying allegations Russian lawyer who attended Trump Tower meeting charged in separate probe Manafort attorneys file answers to Mueller claims under seal MORE filed court documents on Tuesday disputing accusations by special counsel

Manafort’s lawyers said in the filing that any alleged “misstatements” the defendant made during his cooperation with federal prosecutors in Mueller’s Russia investigation were not intentional.

“Mr. Manafort provided complete and truthful information to the best of his ability,” his attorneys argued in a 10-page document with redacted portions that, due to a filing error, failed to keep all of those redacted portions from public view.

Redacted sections of the filing could be read by copying and pasting the entire text into a new document. Talking Points Memo first published portions of the unredacted document.

The filing also revealed that Manafort has been in solitary confinement away from the facility’s general population to ensure his safety, that he suffered from severe gout for several months, which confined him to a wheelchair, and that he has had anxiety and depression due to little contact with his family. All of this, his defense attorneys say, has weighed heavily on his state of mind and on his memory while he was being questioned at length.

Mueller in December accused Manafort of lying to investigators on a variety of topics, including his contacts with Trump administration officials; his interactions with Konstantin Kilimnik, an associate believed to have ties to Russian intelligence; a $125,000 payment to a firm working for Manafort; and a separate Justice Department investigation in another district.

In Tuesday’s filing, Manafort’s attorneys described it as “accurate” that Manafort initially forgot to cite meetings or contacts with Kilimnik in his interviews with the government but noted he later recalled them. They also noted that those contacts took place during the 2016 presidential campaign, when Manafort served as Trump’s campaign chairman.

They also contested the idea that Manafort intentionally lied about the $125,000 payment or information related to the other Justice Department investigation, suggesting that Manafort had been confused in his proffer sessions with government attorneys.

With regard to his misstatements about contacts with the administration, Manafort’s attorneys emphasized that Manafort did not “believe” or “recall” direct or indirect communications with two administration officials he was asked about. They said Mueller failed to present evidence he intentionally lied.

“To the extent that there are witness statements that the [special counsel] contends demonstrate Mr. Manafort’s intentional falsehoods, these should be produced to the Defense,” the lawyers wrote.

Manafort’s attorneys subsequently filed a corrected version of the redacted filing that did not reveal the sealed portions, but not before reports of the details began to emerge.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson, the federal district court judge overseeing Manafort’s criminal case in D.C., ordered the government to submit its factual and evidentiary basis of Manafort’s five alleged breaches by Jan. 14. She then ordered Manafort’s attorneys to reply to that information by Jan. 19.

If the court determines that a hearing remains necessary after reviewing all the parties’ submissions, she said a hearing will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 25.

Updated: 4:02 p.m.