Notes in mistaken Manafort filing may show partial legal strategy

Paul Manafort's attorneys appear to have mistakenly made public some of their notes about a strategy they may use to ...

Posted: Jan 25, 2018 10:30 AM
Updated: Jan 25, 2018 10:30 AM

Paul Manafort's attorneys appear to have mistakenly made public some of their notes about a strategy they may use to attack Robert Mueller's special counsel office.

The one page of bullet points and sentence fragments, titled "DOJ, OSC AND THE PRESS" sketches a connection between information obtained by both Mueller's office and the Associated Press, alleging an exchange of information.

The rogue note was attached to an apparently unrelated court filing Wednesday afternoon that asks the judge overseeing Manafort's criminal case to consider a change to proposed deadlines.

Manafort is also suing Mueller, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and the Justice Department for overreach in their investigation into possible Russian collusion related to the Trump campaign.

Included in the defense attorneys' formal motion was a third page, of notes -- descriptions of a subpoena and seizure warrant, Associated Press stories about Manafort, his company and his work related to Ukraine, and a reporter's contact with a Manafort spokesman, Jason Maloni.

One part of the note describes how Maloni turned over two memos from Paul Manafort to the Ukrainian billionaire Rinat Akhmetov as part of a subpoena. The note then says, "memos received by Maloni from the AP," suggesting that documents obtained by the special counsel's office ended up in the Associates Press' hands.

Further down, the note describes how the Associated Press reporter saw electronic files from Manafort's company on a hard drive. An employee of Manafort's company allowed the reporter to see a copy of the hard drive, the note said. The government then seized that hard drive, the note said.

The exchange of information, according to the note, culminated with an Associated Press story in April 2017 that asserted Manafort received two "off-the-books" payments from a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine for which he consulted. His nine criminal charges, to which he's pleaded not guilty, relate to some of the work and payments Manafort received from the Ukrainians.

The ledger described here led to Manafort's departure from the Trump campaign in 2016.

Maloni and Kevin Downing, Manafort's lead attorney, declined to comment Wednesday. The lead reporter on the April Associated Press story, Jack Gillum, who now works for The Washington Post, declined to comment. An attorney for Akhmetov didn't immediately respond to a request for comment

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