With Paul Manafort accused by Special Counsel Robert Mueller of lying to investigators even after agreeing to cooperate with the Russia probe, lawyers for President Trump’s former campaign manager inadvertently revealed some of the allegations against their client on Tuesday, admitting in an improperly redacted document that Manafort shared polling information during the 2016 campaign with a man linked to Russian intelligence.
In a filing made to a federal judge in Washington, lawyers for Manafort submitted a document which blacked out certain passages – but allowed people to copy and paste the information into another text document, where the information could easily be read about his actions, including contacts with Konstantin Kilimnik, who has been tied to Russian intelligence officials.
Manafort’s lawyers argued that there ‘is no support to the proposition that Mr. Manafort intentionally lied to the government,’ as his lawyers said he just did not remember certain events and discussions, ‘prior to having his recollection refreshed.’
“The same is true with regard to the Government’s allegation that Mr. Manafort lied about sharing polling data with Mr. Kilimnik related to the 2016 presidential campaign,” the redacted text read, revealing a fresh allegation that Manafort had shared polling information with Russians during the race for the White House.
Each redacted section of the filing – which was due by midnight on Monday night, but was not posted on the court’s website until late Tuesday morning – can easily be unmasked, simply by highlighting the blacked out portions of text, and then pasting them into any text document.
For example – here is one section of the document which has been redacted:
And here is the redacted text – now highlighted in yellow:
The failed redactions also reveal that Manafort discussed a peace plan for Ukraine with Kilimnik, a long time ally and friend of Manafort – and that the two men met at some point in Madrid.
The new details had only one answer for supporters of Hillary Clinton.
“Why would you share polling with Russian intel that was also running a social media campaign for you unless you were colluding to win?” asked Neera Tanden, a top advisor to Clinton in 2016.
“The Trump campaign chairman was sharing campaign polling data with a Russian intelligence asset in the midst of the campaign,” said Bradley Moss, a national security lawyer and critic of President Trump.