Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team suspects that Paul Manafort, the onetime Trump campaign chairman, shared polling data on the 2016 election with an associate tied to Russian intelligence and lied about it, according to a court filing by Manafort’s lawyers. The filing was badly redacted, allowing an unintended glimpse at previously undisclosed areas of Mueller’s investigation into whether Donald Trump’s presidential campaign worked with Russia to influence the election. Those areas included the polling data as well as a meeting in Madrid and discussions of a Ukrainian peace plan. Mueller has claimed that Manafort, a political consultant, lied about his communications with Konstantin Kilimnik, who served as a translator and fixer on campaigns in Ukraine for a decade. Kilimnik has denied any ties to Russian intelligence.
Manafort’s lawyers wrote in an improperly redacted portion of the brief that prosecutors said he lied about “sharing polling data with Mr. Kilimnik related to the 2016 presidential campaign.”
The disclosure suggests that one part of Mueller’s probe is focusing on whether Kilimnik may have served as a back channel through Manafort to Russia during the election. Manafort and President Donald Trump have long denied any collusion with Russians.