Special counsel Robert Mueller asked a federal judge to deny Paul Manafort’s request to release him from house arrest, pointing to a draft of an op-ed the former Trump campaign manager ghostwrote with an associate tied to Russian intelligence, according to court filings.
A prosecutor working on Mueller’s team argued that the request should be denied because the op-ed, if it had been published, would’ve violated a court order not to publicly discuss the case.
Prosecutors say Manafort and the colleague — who is “assessed to have ties” with Russian intelligence — intended to publish the piece under a different name in an attempt to influence public opinion about Manafort’s previous work in Ukraine.
“Even if the ghostwritten 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,” the prosecutors wrote in a court filing.
“The editorial clearly was undertaken to influence the public’s opinion of defendant Manafort, or else there would be no reason to seek its publication (much less for Manafort and his long-time associate to ghostwrite it in another’s name).”
Manafort and the unidentified colleague, who prosecutors said is based in Russia, began drafting the op-ed as late as last week.
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