I’m not sure how much convicted felon Paul Manafort is paying his legal team these days, but if I were him, I’d ask for my money back.
On Tuesday, Manafort’s attorneys filed paperwork detailing their response to allegations from Special Counsel Robert Mueller that Manafort had breached his plea agreement with Mueller’s office. And since the Mueller investigation is still ongoing, there were understandably some sections of this latest filing that were redacted by Manafort’s lawyers.
Except, it turns out, they didn’t redact it right.
Instead of actually redacting whole paragraphs of the document, Manafort’s attorneys apparently just colored the text and background black and filed the paperwork as-is, meaning that anyone could simply copy-and-paste the supposedly hidden section and see exactly what language this crack squad of high-powered legal professionals didn’t want to be made public. Whoops!
So, what didn’t Manafort’s team want people to know? For starters, there’s a section in which his attorneys claim that Manafort didn’t deliberately lie to federal investigators. He was simply “unable to recall specific details prior to having his recollection refreshed.”
And then this kicker:
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.
The “Mr. Kilimnik” here is Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian-Ukranian political operative who is believed to have ties to Russian intelligence services. And Paul Manafort, the government claims, allegedly handed him a bunch of 2016 campaign data straight from Team Trump. Weird. Odd. Strange.
Sure seems like the government having reason to believe the president’s former campaign manager forked over a bunch of internal campaign materials to an alleged associate of Russian intelligence might be a problem for the Trump team, although admittedly we don’t know much more beyond those precious few sentences. (The Special Counsel’s Office declined to comment when Splinter reached out for comment on the unredacted allegation.)
In addition to apparently having an incredibly inept legal team, meanwhile, Manafort is also allegedly having a pretty lousy time in jail in general. Per the same filing:
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.
Being locked up for committing crimes is bad and depressing? Who’da thunk.