Special counsel Robert Mueller is going after Paul Manafort again after it was revealed that the former Trump campaign manager ghostwrote an op-ed last week with a Russian intelligence operative.
As The Hill pointed out on Monday, Mueller is pressing a federal judge to deny Manafort’s recent request to lift his house arrest, saying the op-ed written by Manafort was a clear violation of a court order not to discuss or influence the case.
More from the report:
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.
Manafort and the unidentified colleague, who prosecutors said is based in Russia, began drafting the op-ed as late as late week.
While the op-ed has reportedly not yet been published, court filings allege it’s still a clear attempt by Manafort to influence public opinion about him and the case.
“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),” the court filing read, according to the Los Angeles Times. “It compounds the problem that the proposed piece is not a dispassionate recitation of the facts.”
Manafort had recently requested to have his house arrest lifted so he could travel between several of his properties across three states, but the new revelation could put that request in serious jeopardy.
Paul Manafort was already in enough trouble before Monday’s news, but his inability to stop working with Russia, even after facing criminal charges, dug his hole even deeper.