Oops and/or uh oh?! Paul Manafort‘s attorneys failed to properly redact their latest court filing in response to special counsel Robert Mueller, including lines that allude to “the President.”
In a 10-page response to the government’s accusation that Manafort breached his plea deal filed on Tuesday afternoon, there are four stretches of black lines that ought to have contained no text at all. Instead, a simple copy-paste command will extract the text from those not-so-mysterious black boxes.
Here’s what this apparently botched effort reveals:
First redaction on page 5
After being shown documents, Mr. Manafort “conceded” that he discussed or may have discussed a Ukraine peace plan with Mr. Kilimnik on more than one occasion. After being told that Mr. Kilimnik had traveled to Madrid on the same day that Mr. Manafort was in Madrid, Mr. Manafort “acknowledged” that he and Mr.Kilimnik met while they were both in Madrid.
Second redaction on pages 5-6
In fact, during a proffer meeting held with the Special Counsel on September 11, 2018, Mr. Manafort explained to the Government attorneys and investigators 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. Issues and communications related to Ukrainian political events simply were not at the forefront of Mr. Manafort’s mind during the period at issue and it is not surprising at all that Mr. Manafort was unable to recall specific details 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.
Third redaction on page 7
The Government has indicated that Mr. Manafort’s statements about this payment are inconsistent with those of others, but the defense has not received any witness statements to support this contention.
Fourth redaction on page 9
The first alleged misstatement identified in the Special Counsel’s submission(regarding a text exchange on May 26, 2018) related to a text message from a third-party asking permission to use Mr. Manafort’s name as an introduction in the event the third-party met the President. This does not constitute outreach by Mr. Manafort to the President. The second example identified by the Special Counsel is hearsay purportedly offered by an undisclosed third party and the defense has not been provided with the statement (or any witness statements that form the basis for alleging intentional falsehoods).
Law&Crime reached out to the special counsel’s press office as well as Manafort’s attorneys for comment on this story. No response was immediately available at the time of publication but this space will be updated if and when such responses are received.
For more on today’s events, click here.
[image via Alex Wong/Getty Images]