Paul Manafort’s attorney’s sought some sympathy for their client last week, telling Special Counsel Robert Mueller that Manafort never intended to lie to federal investigators, but was struggling to tell things straight because he was depressed and sick.
“[F]or several months Mr. Manafort has suffered from severe gout, at times confining him to a wheelchair,” his attorney’s wrote as one reason for Manafort’s myriad of alleged misstatements during interviews with Mueller’s team.
Mueller, for one, didn’t buy it.
On Tuesday, Mueller's team released a small mountain of evidence supporting their claim that Manafort lied to them on numerous occasions. The document dump, which is heavily redacted, adds up to almost 200 pages in total, which, investigators wanted Manafort to know, “does not contain all of the evidence compiled by the FBI on these issues.”
Manafort pleaded guilty to tax fraud and conspiracy in September 2018, and began cooperating with the special counsel shortly thereafter.
But his plea deal exploded spectacularly weeks later, when Mueller accused Trump’s former campaign chairman of going on a spree of “crimes and lies,” even after signing his cooperation agreement.
Mueller's team sought to provide evidence for that assertion Tuesday, detailing, in heavily-redacted documents, the many ways Manafort misled or presented obstacles to investigators. Seemingly no offense was too small to escape notice, with Mueller’s team even pinpointing how Manafort failed to provide passwords, on ten separate occasions, to his electronic communications or thumb drives.
Last week, Manafort’s lawyers inadvertently revealed that their client had been accused of lying about sharing polling data with a man alleged to have links to Russian intelligence, after apparently failing to properly seal their filing.
Mueller’s documents were also heavily redacted — and those did not malfunction.
Read the full report below.
Cover: Paul Manafort, left, leaves the Alexandria Federal Courthouse with his attorney Kevin Downing, center, on Friday, May 4, 2018, in Alexandria, Va. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)