Mueller: Paul Manafort Wrote Op-Ed With Russian Operative Last Week
Special counsel Robert Muellers office filed court papers to the U.S. District Court of D.C. on Monday opposing the release of Paul Manafort on bail later this month due to newly discoveredfacts [that] cast doubt on Manaforts willingness to comply with thisCourts Orders.
According to Mueller, Manafort ghostwrote an op-ed alongside a long-time Russian colleague who is currently based in Russia and assessed to have ties to a Russian intelligence service. Manafort worked on the op-ed as late as Nov. 30nearly a month after he was indicted by Muellers team. Mueller called for GPS monitoring and a fully secured bond of unencumbered real estate.
Mueller noted that even if the op-ed were truthful, it would be a violation of a Nov. 8 court order to not try the case in the press.
The editorial, Mueller wrote, clearly was undertaken to influence the publics opinion of defendant Manafort, or else there would be no reason to seek its publication.
It compounds the problem that the proposed piece is not a dispassionate recitation of the facts, Mueller continued.
Former Trump campaign adviser Rick Gates and Manafort are facing a host of chargesincluding money laundering and failure to register as foreign agents. The two had been under home confinement with GPS monitoring since they were charged on Oct. 30.
Manafort struck an $11 million bail deal just last week. His wife, Kathleen Manafort, would guarantee another $10 million if the former Trump campaign chief fled the country.
Mueller called for GPS monitoring and a fully secured bond of unencumbered real estate.
From 2004 to 2010, Manafort worked as an adviser to pro-Putin Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yanukovych, who fled to Russia after becoming a target in the Euromaidan protests. He returned to Ukraine in 2014 to close Yanukovych associate Serhiy Lyovochkin.
Two years later, Manaforta longtime resident of Trump Towerbecame Trumps campaign manager. Despite backing by Trumps son-in-law Jared Kushner, Manafort was replaced after several months on the job by Steve Bannon.
A spokesperson for Manafort declined to comment for this story.
with additional reporting by Betsy Woodruff