WASHINGTON (AP) — In an try and burnish his public picture and depart no fingerprints behind, Donald Trump’s former marketing campaign chairman Paul Manafort not too long ago enlisted a longtime colleague “assessed to have ties” to Russian intelligence to assist him ghostwrite an op-ed, prosecutors mentioned Monday.
Prosecutors working for particular counsel Robert Mueller say in court docket papers that they imagine the opinion piece — written whereas Manafort is on home arrest dealing with a number of felonies — would have violated a choose’s order that bars him from making an attempt his case in the press.
They are actually pushing for Manafort to stay confined to his house on GPS monitoring in the meanwhile.
According to the court docket papers , Manafort and the colleague sought to publish the op-ed to affect public opinion about his political consulting in Ukraine, work on the coronary heart of the prison case in opposition to him. The op-ed was being drafted as late as final week.
Prosecutors didn’t title Manafort’s colleague, who’s at present primarily based in Russia, or present particulars of how they decided the particular person had ties to a spy company. Reached Monday, a spokesman for Manafort declined remark.
Manafort is at present dealing with a number of felony fees involving allegations of cash laundering and different monetary crimes associated to his political consulting work in Ukraine. Manafort has denied any wrongdoing. A trial is scheduled for subsequent 12 months.
In the court docket submitting, prosecutors say the op-ed appeared to violate an admonishment from the choose final month to chorus from public statements. An op-ed is an opinion essay written to be revealed in some type, often on a web site or in a newspaper or journal. It is often marked as representing the views of the author and separated from information content material.
“Even if the ghostwritten op-ed have been completely correct, truthful, and balanced, it could be a violation of this Court’s November eight Order if it had been revealed,” the prosecutors wrote. “The editorial clearly was undertaken to affect the general public’s opinion of defendant Manafort, or else there could be no motive to hunt its publication (a lot much less for Manafort and his long-time affiliate to ghostwrite it in one other’s title).”
They added, “It compounds the issue that the proposed piece will not be a dispassionate recitation of the information.”
Prosecutors mentioned they found the efforts to publish the op-ed final Thursday and alerted Manafort’s lawyer, who assured prosecutors that “steps could be taken to ensure it was not going to be revealed.”
At the time, Manafort was working to safe his launch from house confinement by posting greater than $10 million in bond, and in response to court docket papers, he had reached a tentative settlement with the federal government. But after discovering the op-ed, Mueller’s crew is now opposing Manafort’s proposed bond settlement.
Prosecutors didn’t disclose the op-ed in court docket papers in order to forestall it from turning into public. They additionally didn’t disclose what title the ghostwritten op-ed would have been revealed underneath.
Manafort and his longtime enterprise affiliate, Rick Gates, have been indicted in October by a grand jury in Washington. They have been among the many first individuals to face fees introduced by the particular counsel’s workplace.
Manafort led the Trump marketing campaign for a number of months, together with throughout the Republican National Convention. Gates additionally labored in a senior position on the marketing campaign.
Mueller has been main a wide-ranging investigation into Russia’s election interference and any coordination with Trump associates.
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Read the court docket submitting: http://apne.ws/JtXbTI7