Trump says he knew nothing about Manafort's dealings with Russian
- Author: Rogelio Becker Jan 12, 2019,
Jan 12, 2019, 1:27
Senior Democratic lawmakers called on Wednesday for further investigation into a revelation that in 2016 Donald Trump's then-presidential election campaign chairman gave polling data to a man USA prosecutors have linked to Russian intelligence.
The allegation against Manafort, which surfaced in a court filing, marked the first time prosecutors have accused him of sharing election-related information with Russian contacts.
Fabrizio is a valuable asset for Mueller's team, as he is one of the few people close to Manafort with inside knowledge about the Trump campaign's inner-workings and could shed light on the work Manafort did in Eastern Europe for Russian oligarchs.
Prosecutors alleged that Manafort lied about providing Kilimnik with the polling data.
The office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller has charged Manafort and Kilimnik in its investigation of Russian interference in the election and whether Trump campaign members coordinated with Moscow officials.
He said that agreement would be a "conspiracy", whether or not the Trump campaign actually got anything of value from the Russians.
"Such a failure is unsurprising here, where these occurrences happened during a period when Mr. Manafort was managing a US presidential campaign and had countless meetings, email communications, and other interactions with many different individuals, and traveled frequently", the Manafort attorneys argued.
"Mueller's team met with pollster Tony Fabrizio in February 2018, an interview that has not been previously reported and takes on new significance after Manafort's attorneys revealed Tuesday that Mueller's team is still interested in how Manafort shared polling data with his Russian intelligence-linked colleague".
U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered Mueller to respond by January 14 with "factual and evidentiary basis" for why it is accusing Manafort of lying during his cooperation. Jackson also said she'd review all the filings before deciding whether to hold a January 25 hearing on the issue.