Feb 7, 2019

Mueller says Manafort continued Ukraine work after 2017 indictment

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

A transcript from Paul Manafort's Monday hearing with prosecutors reveals that special counsel Robert Mueller has evidence Manafort continued doing work related to Ukraine in 2018, despite being indicted in October 2017 for charges that include failing to register as a foreign agent.

Details: During the 4-hour hearing, which was convened to discuss whether Manafort breached his plea deal by lying, a prosecutor called attention to Manafort's meetings with business associate Konstantin Kilimnik, who is suspected of having ties to Russian intelligence. He alleges Manafort lied about how many times he discussed a redacted topic with Kilimnik — believed to be a Ukrainian peace plan — and that the two men discussed the matter as late as winter 2018.

  • Manafort also allegedly discussed the peace plan in January 2017, when Kilimnik was in Washington for Trump's inauguration.
  • During the hearing, the judge asked the prosecutor why discussions of a "backdoor" between the two men during an August 2016 meeting were so important. Prosecutor Andrew Weissmann responded: "This goes, I think, very much to the heart of what the Special Counsel's Office is investigating ... That meeting and what happened at the meeting is of significance to the special counsel."

An improperly redacted filing from Manafort's lawyers last month revealed that Manafort shared polling data related to the 2016 presidential election with Kilimnik. The transcript from Monday's hearing indicates Rick Gates, the former deputy chairman of the Trump campaign, was the one who told Mueller about the incident.

What to watch: Gates, who remained with the Trump campaign even after Manafort was fired, has pleaded guilty in the Mueller investigation, but we have yet to see the full results of his cooperation. Last month, Mueller requested for the second time that Gates' sentencing be delayed, citing his cooperation in "several ongoing investigations."

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 5,931,112 — Total deaths: 357,929 — Total recoveries — 2,388,172Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 1,711,313 — Total deaths: 101,129 — Total recoveries: 391,508 — Total tested: 15,192,481Map.
  3. States: New York to allow private businesses to deny entry to customers without masks.
  4. Public health: Louisiana Sen. Cassidy wants more frequent testing of nursing home workers.
  5. Congress: Pelosi slams McConnell on stimulus delay — Sen. Tim Kaine and wife test positive for coronavirus antibodies.
  6. Tech: Twitter fact-checks Chinese official's claims that coronavirus originated in U.S.
  7. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 22 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Twitter fact-checks Chinese official's claims that coronavirus originated in U.S.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian. Photo: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

Twitter slapped a fact-check label on a pair of months-old tweets from a Chinese government spokesperson that falsely suggested that the coronavirus originated in the U.S. and was brought to Wuhan by the U.S. military, directing users to "get the facts about COVID-19."

Why it matters: The labels were added after criticism that Twitter had fact-checked tweets from President Trump about mail-in voting, but not other false claims from Chinese Communist Party officials and other U.S. adversaries.

Podcast: Trump vs. Twitter, round two

President Trump is escalating his response to Twitter’s fact check of his recent tweets about mail-in voting, issuing an executive order that's designed to begin limiting social media's liability protections. Dan digs in with Axios' Margaret Harding McGill.

Go deeper: Twitter vs. Trump... vs. Twitter

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy