Paul Manafort’s lawyers filed a response to the Special Counsel’s submission in support of its breach determination. The filing was supposed to have four matters redacted. In error, only two were redacted. The error was subsequently corrected and the initial filing was replaced with a filing that had all four areas actually redacted.
However, I have tracked down the text of the two redactions. I have placed the entire filing here. The text of the two erroneous non-redactions are set in green boxes at the tops of pages 5 and 6.
The redactions make it clear that the Special Counsel is contending that there were two specific instances when Manafort, during the period in which he was Trump’s campaign chair, colluded with the Putin’s Russian-Ukranian operative, Konstantin Kilimnik. The thrust of Manafort’s filing is to deny such collusion, claiming that he “misremembered.”:
It is not uncommon, however, for a witness to have only a vague recollection about events that occurred years prior and then to recall additional details about those events when his or her recollection is refreshed with relevant documents or additional information. Similarly, cooperating witnesses often fail to have complete and accurate recall of detailed facts regarding specific meetings, email communications, travel itineraries, and other events. Such a failure is unsurprising here, where these occurrences happened during a period when Mr. Manafort was managing a U.S. presidential campaign and had countless meetings, email communications, and other interactions with many different individuals, and traveled frequently.
Manafort response at 5.
The noose is tightening.
In a comment, Kenneth Almquist informed me how to uncover all of the redacted material in the Manafort filing. I have done so and the results can be found here. Almquist also makes the point that:
What makes the second redaction so interesting is that the filing doesn’t contest the claim that Manafort shared polling data with Kilimnik. If the Trump campaign provided Russia with polling data in order to help Russia target its efforts to help the Trump campaign, that’s collusion. I can’t think of any other reason for Manafort to share polling data with Kilimnik.
So much for no collusion.