Mueller just released a legal brief that could send a top Trump campaign official to prison for life

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Special Counsel Mueller’s office just released an FBI agent’s damning 31-page legal brief about Paul Manafort’s crimes and lies in federal court, detailing for Judge Amy Berman the grave reasons they canceled his cooperation and plea deal. (embedded below

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In today’s heavily redacted filing, Special Agent Jeff Wieland dramatically revealed at the end that it was a cooperator’s testimony that nailed Manafort for lying about his contacts with President Trump himself, in addition to other Administration officials, about hiring people for federal jobs.

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Special Agent Wieland’s report also firms up details of Paul Manafort’s lies, some of which were accidentally revealed last week in a smoking gun filing by his own defense lawyers, as well as new details of his conspiracy to obstruct justice with Russian spy Konstantin Kilimnik, who was his deputy in Ukraine.

It was Manafort’s other former right-hand man, Rick Gates, who tipped off prosecutors that Trump’s former Campaign Chairman has covered up his role with the presidential administration that he and Russia worked together to get elected.

Though the information is redacted for grand jury secrecy purposes, it’s reasonable to infer that Special Counsel Mueller knows who became Manafort’s intermediary to the Trump Administration, and his prosecutors know if there are any public officials who gained federal office through his efforts.

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More importantly, they know about Paul Manafort’s continuing attempts to influence President Donald Trump through that intermediary, outside of their legal contact as part of a joint defense agreement, even after he was indicted for dozens of crimes.

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Special Agent Weiland’s filing appears to indicate that Paul Manafort stopped lobbying the Trump Administration only after Gates pled guilty last year, though isn’t certain if the kinds of administration contacts described require Manafort to have filed lobbying disclosures.

The FBI agent also outlined the former Trump campaign manager’s in-person meeting in August 2016 to deliver poll data to Kilimnik, whom Mueller says is a Russian spy, during the election.

Paul Manafort pled guilty to the crime of witness tampering for a scheme to obstruct with Kilimnik when he agreed to cooperate. For no reasonable explanation, Manafort strangely tried to retract the facts of his plea that he had already confirmed in court before his lawyers advised him and he admitted his guilt.

Weiland also detailed Manafort’s lies to prosecutors about a mysterious $125,000 payment he received from a PAC, which he termed a loan, but his accountants – who cooperated against him in a financial crimes trial – said was income. The people involved in the payment were heavily redacted.

Heavily redacted information about Manafort’s final jobs in political consulting in 2018 before his bail was revoked last June tells a secret story of his final days of freedom but must hold significant importance since it too was immersed under the grand jury’s cloak of secrecy.

Judge Amy Berman ordered prosecutors to provide a report on the convicted consultant’s “crimes and lies” in early December, which led to today’s lengthy filing because it is a crime to lie to federal investigators, FBI agents or the grand jury.

Each of the five matters that Special Agent Weiland – who says he was present at all of Manafort’s proffer sessions and grand jury testimony – detailed are material to some important area of Mueller’s inquiries and could result in criminal charges.

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But it is Republican operative’s contacts with the Trump administration that raise the clear danger of corrupt officials or potentially ongoing crimes.

The ultimate signal of potential new charges could center around Paul Manafort’s communications with Donald Trump, outside of legal contacts.

If the two targets of Mueller’s investigation colluded to impact the investigation into Russia’s attack on our 2016 elections, it could expose both Manafort’s intermediary and President Trump to criminal charges.

Read the entire filing here:

Grant Stern

Editor at Large

Grant Stern is a columnist for the Washington Press. He's also mortgage broker, writer, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida.

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