Trump/Russia 2016 election investigation (continued)


#181

Maybe he watches RT?


#182

He could ask for intelligence briefings on that and he would get them. I think it can be as simple as that. “For security reasons I want summaries of what is being broadcast on Russian TV news.”


#183

Isn’t Russia Today in English?


#184

I figure what happened in his meeting with Putin, he talked about wanting to get out of Afghanistan. So Putin gave him a history lesson on Afghanistan. If you remember shortly after meeting with Xi, he made weird statements about China’s role in Korea, that were aligned with China view of the history, protector of the Korean peninsula rather than invader.

It is all further evidence of the last person he talked to syndrome.


#185

I don’t know if all of it is, but they certainly have English language broadcasts/ reports.


#186

#187

Was it Christmas 2017 Rudy said it would be wrapped up by? I’ve lost track.


#188

I didn’t know anybody paid attention to Rudy anymore. He is like the yapping dog next door to me, unless he is on Sunday show being interviewed I pay no attention to anything he says.


#189

IMHO, not just Russia and Putin, but the rest of the Russian Oligarchs (in particular the subsumed Mob Bosses Putin uses to do his dirty work). While I’ve long felt that the only way he survived the 2008 crash was dirty russian money, in the other thread there was a link to a LOT of speculation that he was involved with the Russian mob long before then, which, while unproven, did explain a lot to me as to why they would do that pre-Magnitsky.


#190

It’s multilingual and they’ve had an English-language channel since 2005.


#191


Friedrich insisted that there was no bias and that the defense filings were patently inappropriate, but Dubelier disagreed.

“That’s your opinion,” the defense attorney said.

It appeared that Friedrich called the Monday morning court session in large part to deliver a public dressing-down to Dubelier. After some routine scheduling matters and a brief discussion of what proceedings should be held in open court, the judge ejected the press and members of the public and moved the court into a sealed session.

The best people.


#192

There’s a very basic misunderstanding here: when the word “opinion” is used in reference to a judge, it means something very different than what these idiots apparently think it means.

As you note, the best people.


#193

Well well.

That’s just got “oopsie” written all over it. Oopsie for not redacting, and also oopsie, because, you know, actual collusion.


#194

Hahaha. The old copy/paste blackout error.


#195

Apparently it has been re-filed now. Hopefully someone grabbed it and posted it somewhere.


#196

Haha, good luck tying Manafort to Trump, though.

NO COLLUSION.


#197

#198

I grabbed it if anyone cares. Its not really particularly interesting. Here ya go, I have included the non blacked out preceding sentence in each case so its searchable in the main doc.

blacked out part 1

The Government concludes from this that Mr. Manafort’s initial
responses to inquiries about his meetings and interactions with Mr. Kilimnik were lies to the OSC
attorneys and investigators. (See, e.g., Doc. 460 at 5 (After being shown documents, Mr. Manafort
“conceded” that he discussed or may have discussed a Ukraine peace plan with Mr. Kilimnik on
more than one occasion); id. at 6 (After being told that Mr. Kilimnik had traveled to Madrid on the
same day that Mr. Manafort was in Madrid, Mr. Manafort “acknowledged” that he and Mr.
Kilimnik met while they were both in Madrid)).

pt2
Such a failure is unsurprising
here, where these occurrences happened during a period when Mr. Manafort was managing a U.S.
presidential campaign and had countless meetings, email communications, and other interactions
with many different individuals, and traveled frequently. In fact, during a proffer meeting held
with the Special Counsel on September 11, 2018, Mr. Manafort explained to the Government
attorneys and investigators that he would have given the Ukrainian peace plan more thought, had
the issue not been raised during the period he was engaged with work related to the presidential
Case 1:17-cr-00201-ABJ Document 471 Filed 01/08/19 Page 5 of 10
6
campaign. Issues and communications related to Ukrainian political events simply were not at the
forefront of Mr. Manafort’s mind during the period at issue and it is not surprising at all that Mr.
Manafort was unable to recall specific details prior to having his recollection refreshed. The same
is true with regard to the Government’s allegation that Mr. Manafort lied about sharing polling
data with Mr. Kilimnik related to the 2016 presidential campaign. (See Doc. 460 at 6).

pt3
In a subsequent meeting, Mr. Manafort explained that it was unclear to him how this
payment was recorded by his accountants and he believed the original plan was to report the
payment as a loan, but that it had actually been reported as income on his 2017 tax return. The
Government has indicated that Mr. Manafort’s statements about this payment are inconsistent with
those of others, but the defense has not received any witness statements to support this contention.

pt4
There is no support for the proposition that Mr. Manafort intentionally lied to the
Government. The first alleged misstatement identified in the Special Counsel’s submission
(regarding a text exchange on May 26, 2018) related to a text message from a third-party asking
permission to use Mr. Manafort’s name as an introduction in the event the third-party met the
President. This does not constitute outreach by Mr. Manafort to the President. The second
example identified by the Special Counsel is hearsay purportedly offered by an undisclosed third
party and the defense has not been provided with the statement (or any witness statements that
form the basis for alleging intentional falsehoods).

And the entire text (minus lawyers personal details) below

Summary

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
PAUL J. MANAFORT, JR.,
Defendant.
) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) )
Criminal No. 17-201 (ABJ)
DEFENDANT PAUL J. MANAFORT JR.’S RESPONSE TO THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S SUBMISSION IN SUPPORT OF ITS BREACH DETERMINATION
Defendant Paul J. Manafort, Jr., by and through counsel, respectfully submits this response
to the Office of Special Counsel’s submission in support of its determination that Mr. Manafort
breached the plea agreement in this case. (Doc. 460).
A. Introduction
Over the course of twelve meetings with Government attorneys and agents, Mr. Manafort
spent numerous hours answering questions. During these interview sessions, Mr. Manafort
provided complete and truthful information to the best of his ability. He attempted to live up to
the requirements of his cooperation agreement and provided meaningful cooperation relating to
several key areas under current government investigation. He also cooperated by providing the
government with access to his electronic devices, email accounts, and related passwords. Finally,
he continues to cooperate in an effort to ensure the orderly forfeiture of his assets.
Rather than emphasizing Mr. Manafort’s substantial and meaningful performance, the
Office of Special Counsel (“OSC”) claims that he has breached his agreement and provided
intentionally false information related to five subjects addressed further below. Despite Mr.
Manafort’s position that he has not made intentional misstatements, he is not requesting a hearing
Case 1:17-cr-00201-ABJ Document 471 Filed 01/08/19 Page 1 of 10
2
on the breach issue. As discussed further below – given the highly deferential standard that applies
to the Government’s determination of a breach and the Government’s stated intention to limit the
effect of the breach determination to its advocacy at sentencing in this case1 – Mr. Manafort
suggests that any necessary factual determinations are better addressed as part of the presentencing
report (“PSR”) process. Should material factual issues remain in dispute at that point, the parties
can request a hearing to address those issues.
B. The Plea Agreement and the Breach Standard
The plea agreement between the parties sets forth the standard governing a determination
of whether the defendant has breached the agreement. See Plea Agreement at 14 (Doc. 422). It
states that the determination of whether there has been a breach by the defendant shall “be judged
by the Government in its sole discretion” subject to a showing that the OSC made its determination
in “good faith.” Id. Stated alternatively, practically speaking, given a set of facts that arguably
support a breach determination, even if subject to another more benign interpretation, it is
incumbent upon the defendant to show that the prosecution somehow acted in bad faith in
declaring a breach of the agreement based on those facts.
In the instant case, given the language of the plea agreement, it is the defendant’s position
that a hearing on the specific issue of whether the OSC made its determination regarding the
purported breach in “good faith” is not required. Parties can, and regularly do, disagree upon their
interpretation of the facts and they do so without accusing the other side of improper motivations.
1Based upon discussions occurring after the November 30 and December 11 hearings, the OSC has advised that the only remedies it currently plans to seek related to the alleged breach relate to its position regarding sentencing in this matter. Should the Government seek to bring additional charges or take any other adverse action beyond its sentencing position, the defendant reserves his right to challenge the Government’s breach determination at that time.
Case 1:17-cr-00201-ABJ Document 471 Filed 01/08/19 Page 2 of 10
3
But for sentencing purposes, the matter does not end here. To the extent the facts
underlying these issues must be determined in connection with the sentencing, defendant suggests
the decision of whether to hold a hearing should be made after the presentence report has been
prepared. Waiting until after the presentence report is complete will allow the parties to determine
those factual issues, if any, that remain in dispute and that cannot be resolved without a hearing
and to narrow any hearing as to those issues.
As its basis for claiming a breach of the plea agreement, the Government has generally
identified purported misrepresentations relating to five areas of inquiry. (Doc. 460 at 4-9). The
OSC opines that the defendant has intentionally misrepresented facts in response to their questions.
The defense contests the Government’s conclusion and contends that any alleged misstatements,
to the extent they occurred at all, were not intentional.
C. Background
On June 15, 2018, the Court remanded Mr. Manafort into custody where he has remained
confined in jail since that time. During September and October 2018, he met with attorneys and
investigators from the Government on a dozen occasions and has testified twice before the grand
jury. On this point, there is no disagreement between the parties. (See Doc. 460 at 2-3). During
the period he has been cooperating with the OSC, Mr. Manafort has been in solitary confinement
away from the facility’s general population to ensure his safety. While his physical safety is of
primary concern, it is important to note that the conditions of Mr. Manafort’s confinement have
taken a toll on his physical and mental health. As just one example, for several months Mr.
Manafort has suffered from severe gout, at times confining him to a wheelchair. He also suffers
from depression and anxiety and, due to the facility’s visitation regulations, has had very little
contact with his family. Mr. Manafort has only traveled outside of the facility to meet with the
Case 1:17-cr-00201-ABJ Document 471 Filed 01/08/19 Page 3 of 10
4
OSC’s attorneys and investigators and, on limited occasion, to appear in court. On those occasions
he has met with the OSC, he was awoken before dawn, transported to the Special Counsel’s offices
in Washington, and interviewed for many hours (usually the entire day). These circumstances
weighed heavily on Mr. Manafort’s state of mind and on his memory as he was questioned at
length. In addition, Mr. Manafort commenced his cooperative efforts just days prior to entering
into the plea agreement in this case and resumed those efforts the very day after his plea hearing –
thus, he was afforded little opportunity to prepare for his meetings with the government’s attorneys
and investigators. Many of the questions put to Mr. Manafort during the proffer meetings were
broad in scope and, more often than not, documentary materials relevant to the areas of inquiry
were not provided to him in advance. Because materials were not provided for his review in jail
the night before interview sessions, Mr. Manafort often did not have the opportunity to refresh his
recollection of events and conversations that occurred many years ago.2
Indeed, it is fair to say that mistakes and failed recollections are common to most proffer
meetings between the Government and cooperating witnesses. As noted, the OSC generally
identifies purported lies relating to five areas of inquiry and opines that the defendant intentionally
misrepresented facts in response to their questions. Notably, there is no identifiable pattern to Mr.
Manafort’s purported misrepresentations – no specific individual or potential crime is identified
in the Government’s submission. Mr. Manafort addresses the Government’s specific allegations
below.
2Of course, nothing requires prosecutors to provide materials in advance of their questioning; nevertheless, in a situation where a defendant has pled guilty and agreed to cooperate with authorities, the failure to do so can be counterproductive.
Case 1:17-cr-00201-ABJ Document 471 Filed 01/08/19 Page 4 of 10
5
D. The Areas Identified by the Government

  1. Mr. Manafort’s Interactions with Konstantin Kilimnik
    It is accurate that after the Special Counsel shared evidence regarding Mr. Manafort’s
    meetings and communications with Konstantin Kilimnik with him, Mr. Manafort recalled that he
    had – or may have had – some additional meetings or communications with Mr. Kilimnik that he
    had not initially remembered. The Government concludes from this that Mr. Manafort’s initial
    responses to inquiries about his meetings and interactions with Mr. Kilimnik were lies to the OSC
    attorneys and investigators. (See, e.g., Doc. 460 at 5 (After being shown documents, Mr. Manafort
    “conceded” that he discussed or may have discussed a Ukraine peace plan with Mr. Kilimnik on
    more than one occasion); id. at 6 (After being told that Mr. Kilimnik had traveled to Madrid on the
    same day that Mr. Manafort was in Madrid, Mr. Manafort “acknowledged” that he and Mr.
    Kilimnik met while they were both in Madrid)).
    It is not uncommon, however, for a witness to have only a vague recollection about events
    that occurred years prior and then to recall additional details about those events when his or her
    recollection is refreshed with relevant documents or additional information. Similarly, cooperating
    witnesses often fail to have complete and accurate recall of detailed facts regarding specific
    meetings, email communications, travel itineraries, and other events. Such a failure is unsurprising
    here, where these occurrences happened during a period when Mr. Manafort was managing a U.S.
    presidential campaign and had countless meetings, email communications, and other interactions
    with many different individuals, and traveled frequently. In fact, during a proffer meeting held
    with the Special Counsel on September 11, 2018, Mr. Manafort explained to the Government
    attorneys and investigators that he would have given the Ukrainian peace plan more thought, had
    the issue not been raised during the period he was engaged with work related to the presidential
    Case 1:17-cr-00201-ABJ Document 471 Filed 01/08/19 Page 5 of 10
    6
    campaign. Issues and communications related to Ukrainian political events simply were not at the
    forefront of Mr. Manafort’s mind during the period at issue and it is not surprising at all that Mr.
    Manafort was unable to recall specific details prior to having his recollection refreshed. The same
    is true with regard to the Government’s allegation that Mr. Manafort lied about sharing polling
    data with Mr. Kilimnik related to the 2016 presidential campaign. (See Doc. 460 at 6). The simple
    fact that Mr. Manafort could not recall, or incorrectly recalled, specific events from his past
    dealings with Mr. Kilimnik – but often (after being shown or told about relevant documents or
    other evidence) corrected himself or clarified his responses – does not support a determination that
    he intentionally lied.
  2. Mr. Kilimnik’s Role in the Obstruction Conspiracy
    The parties agree that Mr. Manafort pleaded guilty to Count Two of the superseding
    information, which charged him and Mr. Kilimnik with conspiracy to obstruct justice by
    attempting to contact two potential government witnesses. (See Doc. 460 at 6). However, the
    Government’s characterization that, after he pleaded guilty, Mr. Manafort denied that Mr.
    Kilimnik participated in the conspiracy is disputed. During a proffer session with the OSC on
    October 16, 2018, Mr. Manafort acknowledged that he and Mr. Kilimnik agreed to reach out to
    the witnesses. Mr. Manafort was asked to agree that Mr. Kilimnik, too, possessed the requisite
    state of mind to legally establish his guilt. Mr. Manafort balked at this characterization, because
    he did not believe he could confirm what another person’s internal thoughts or understandings
    were, i.e., another individual’s state of mind. Mr. Manafort did not intentionally lie and he did not
    back away from his own guilty plea to Count Two. In fact, he acknowledged his understanding of
    Mr. Kilimnik’s role in the offense; that is, that he and Mr. Kilimnik agreed with each other to try
    Case 1:17-cr-00201-ABJ Document 471 Filed 01/08/19 Page 6 of 10
    7
    to contact witnesses so that the witnesses’ views of the facts would be closely aligned with Mr.
    Manafort’s anticipated defense at trial.
  3. Payment to a Firm Working for Mr. Manafort
    The Government alleges that Mr. Manafort made “several inconsistent statements” in
    response to questions about a $125,000 payment made on Mr. Manafort’s behalf in 2017. (Doc.
    460 at 7). From the outset, the discussion of this topic with Mr. Manafort was the subject of
    confusion. For example, when the Government first raised this topic, Mr. Manafort was asked
    about a much larger payment to the firm on his behalf. Mr. Manafort said he thought it was a
    smaller amount and had no recollection of a payment in the amount described by the Government.
    After a break, it became clear that the government’s facts were incorrect – it was a $125,000
    payment.
    Mr. Manafort initially explained that he approached the head of Entity B, who owed him
    money, seeking help in paying his debt. After further discussion, Mr. Manafort acknowledged that
    the head of Entity B had the head of Firm A pay the amount for Mr. Manafort. Despite the
    confusion, at bottom it appears that the Government’s evidence corroborates Mr. Manafort’s
    testimony that the head of Firm A paid the money at the head of Entity B’s request from money
    the head of Firm A owed to the head of Entity B.
    In a subsequent meeting, Mr. Manafort explained that it was unclear to him how this
    payment was recorded by his accountants and he believed the original plan was to report the
    payment as a loan, but that it had actually been reported as income on his 2017 tax return. The
    Government has indicated that Mr. Manafort’s statements about this payment are inconsistent with
    those of others, but the defense has not received any witness statements to support this contention.
    Case 1:17-cr-00201-ABJ Document 471 Filed 01/08/19 Page 7 of 10
    8
  4. Mr. Manafort’s Statements Regarding Another DOJ Investigation
    The OSC alleges that Mr. Manafort provided the government with information pertinent to
    an investigation in another district prior to entering into the plea agreement in this case but then,
    in post-plea proffer meetings with other prosecutors not associated with the OSC, provided a
    different version of the same events. (See Doc. 460 at 8). As the Special Counsel acknowledges
    however, during the second proffer meeting Mr. Manafort’s counsel refreshed his recollection with
    notes from the prior proffer meeting, which led Mr. Manafort to correct his statements to the non
    OSC government’s attorneys and investigators. Moreover, the characterization of Mr. Manafort’s
    statement as “exculpatory” ignores the fact that the underlying conduct at issue did not involve
    any potential crime known to him. Even if viewed as inconsistent statements, they were
    nevertheless corrected during the course of the same proffer meeting and do not support a
    conclusion that he lied.
  5. Contacts with the Administration
    Lastly, the OSC alleges that Mr. Manafort stated that he had no contact with members of
    the Administration and did not ask others to communicate with members of the Administration on
    his behalf. (See Doc. 460 at 8). Mr. Manafort was briefly asked several questions related to
    contacts with the Administration and explained that, although he knew many individuals who had
    been appointed to positions within the Administration, he did not believe that he had any direct or
    indirect communications with any of them during the time that those individuals actually served
    in the Administration. Mr. Manafort was asked specifically about communications with two
    Administration officials but did not recall having a conversation with either individual or reaching
    Case 1:17-cr-00201-ABJ Document 471 Filed 01/08/19 Page 8 of 10
    9
    out to either individual during the period they worked in the Administration. In its submission,
    the OSC cites two examples, first, where Mr. Manafort appears to have authorized a third-party to
    speak to someone in the Administration and, second, where a witness appears to have told the OSC
    that Mr. Manafort stated to the witness that that he had contact with another Administration
    official. The Special Counsel has also provided defense counsel with additional examples that
    appear to reflect several additional (mostly indirect) contacts with individuals during periods they
    worked in the Administration.
    There is no support for the proposition that Mr. Manafort intentionally lied to the
    Government. The first alleged misstatement identified in the Special Counsel’s submission
    (regarding a text exchange on May 26, 2018) related to a text message from a third-party asking
    permission to use Mr. Manafort’s name as an introduction in the event the third-party met the
    President. This does not constitute outreach by Mr. Manafort to the President. The second
    example identified by the Special Counsel is hearsay purportedly offered by an undisclosed third
    party and the defense has not been provided with the statement (or any witness statements that
    form the basis for alleging intentional falsehoods). Prior to and during his proffer meetings, Mr.
    Manafort was well aware that the Special Counsel’s attorneys and investigators had scrutinized all
    of his electronic communications. Indeed, it is important to note that Mr. Manafort voluntarily
    produced numerous electronic devices and passwords at the request of the Government.

Since he signed the plea agreement with the OSC, Mr. Manafort has met with the
government’s attorneys and investigators a dozen times and he has testified before a grand jury on
two occasions. While a hearing regarding the Government’s “good faith” in declaring a breach of
the plea agreement is not necessary, to the extent that there are witness statements that the OSC
Case 1:17-cr-00201-ABJ Document 471 Filed 01/08/19 Page 9 of 10
10
contends demonstrate Mr. Manafort’s intentional falsehoods, these should be produced to the
defense. After having an opportunity to review such statements and any other documentary
evidence, the defendant would then suggest that the issues be narrowed during the usual sentencing
process in the parties’ submissions to the U.S. Probation Office in the preparation of the PSR.
Where factual issues remain after the standard process, a hearing may be necessary prior to the
actual sentencing of the defendant to resolve those disputes.
Dated: January 7, 2019 Respectfully submitted,
/s/ Kevin M. Downin


#199

You almost feel like Manafort should be suing his own lawyers for malpractice.


#200