WASHINGTON – The special counsel investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election on Monday accused President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, of working with a Russian colleague to draft an opinion piece about his political work for Ukraine.
In court filings, a prosecutor working with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team said Manafort was working on the article as recently as Nov. 30.
Had it been published, prosecutors say it would have violated a Nov. 8 court order not to discuss the case publicly.
The Russian colleague who was working with Manafort allegedly to shape public opinion about his work for a Ukrainian political party has ties to Russian intelligence agencies, according to the filing. It did not name the Russian colleague.
Manafort ultimately never published the opinion piece, after prosecutors reached out to his attorneys to alert them, they said in the filing.
Because of Manafort’s actions, prosecutors said the judge should reject his request to modify his bail conditions.
Manafort has proposed posting $11.65 million in exchange for lifting him from house arrest and electronic monitoring.
“Even if the ghost-written op-ed were entirely accurate, fair and balanced, it would be a violation of this court’s November 8 order if it had been published,” wrote prosecutor Andrew Weissmann.
A spokesman for Manafort did not have any immediate comment.