Trump says he knew nothing about Manafort's dealings with Russian

President Donald Trump on Thursday claimed he had no knowledge that Paul Manafort, his onetime campaign chairman, allegedly shared internal 2016 Trump campaign polling data with a suspected former Russian intelligence officer.

Akhmetov is one of the richest men in Ukraine and bankrolled the Party of Regions, a Ukrainian political party aligned with Moscow that Manafort worked to bolster.

Jackie Speier, a Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee, said the revelations raised new questions about possible "collusion" between Trump's election team and Russian Federation.

The revelation came this week in court documents filed by Manafort's defense lawyers that accidentally included details that were meant to be redacted.

Manafort's attorneys filed a new version of the 10-page document more than an hour later with the U.S. District Court in Washington that again blacked out the material, but by then the earlier version had been downloaded and shared widely on the internet.

Tuesday's court filing was submitted by Manafort's lawyers in response to allegations that their client had lied repeatedly to Mueller, breaching a plea deal under which Manafort agreed to assist Mueller's probe.

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Another witness, testifying against Manafort under oath, said Manafort and Akhmetov "knew each other well". Prosecutors say Manafort acknowledged the meeting only after being told that they were in the same city on the same day.

But US prosecutors have since accused Manafort of lying to investigators, complicating his efforts to get a reduced sentence in exchange for his cooperation. The U.S. and European Union have imposed sanctions on Russian Federation over that move as well as the country's support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.

Manafort earned millions from his Ukrainian political work over several years, which included wire transfers from Akhmetov and Lyovochkin through offshore bank accounts, prosecutors said at trial. The request to use Manafort as an introduction to Trump came while Manafort was under indictment in two federal cases.

Mueller's team has also charged Kilimnik with conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstruction of justice.

The sharing of the polling data with Kilimnik was revealed this week, despite being redacted in a court filing, due to a formatting error. Manafort earned $60 million for his work in Ukraine, and was convicted past year of financial fraud after hiding the money overseas to avoid paying U.S. taxes.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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