WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman on Wednesday denied allegations he lied to investigators after he began cooperating with them.
Lawyers for Paul Manafort submitted a heavily redacted 10-page filing aimed at knocking down claims by special counsel Robert Mueller’s office that he intentionally lied and breached his plea agreement.
Manafort’s guilty plea to conspiracy charges in September required him to cooperate with prosecutors and tell the truth about what he knew. Months later, prosecutors accused him of repeatedly lying to them.
The lawyers said Wednesday that any misstatements by Manafort reflected an inconsistent recollection of facts and events rather than an intentional effort to mislead.
“Indeed, many of these events occurred years ago, or during a high-pressure U.S. presidential campaign he managed when his time was extraordinarily limited,” the defense lawyers said, “or during the difficult time that followed his departure from the 2016 presidential campaign because of the allegations leveled at him and the investigations that followed.”
Among the allegations is that Manafort lied when he denied having shared polling data from the 2016 campaign with Konstantin Kilimnik, a business associate who the U.S. has said has ties to Russian intelligence.
A hearing is set for Friday. Manafort, who is currently jailed in Virginia, asked for permission to skip it.
But U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson denied the request, citing among other reasons “the number of court appearances defendant has been permitted to waive” and “the significance of the issues at stake.”
The September guilty plea resolved allegations in the District of Columbia. He was found guilty of eight financial crimes last year in a separate case in Virginia and is to be sentenced there next month.