Mueller releases new evidence that Manafort ran unregistered lobbying campaign for Ukraine

Mueller releases new evidence that Manafort ran unregistered lobbying campaign for Ukraine
© Greg Nash

Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE unveiled new evidence on Tuesday that former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortCohen questioned for hours in Mueller probe about Trump's dealings with Russia: report Vote Democrat in midterms to rein in Trump, preserve justice Hillicon Valley: Trump's exclusive interview with Hill.TV | Trump, intel officials clash over Russia docs | EU investigating Amazon | Military gets new cyber authority | Flynn sentencing sparks new questions about Mueller probe MORE orchestrated an extensive campaign to lobby U.S. lawmakers and media on behalf of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. 

A pair of memos made public in a court filing detail Manafort's role in an effort to draw attention away from the prosecution and imprisonment of Yanukovych's political rival Yulia Tymoshenko. 

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One memo, authored by Manafort and dated April 22, 2013, discusses an effort "to heavily engage with the [U.S. Government] and US Congress, using a strategy I built called 'Engage Ukraine' which focused the dialogue on positive key issues, and away from [Tymoshenko]."

It also details how Manafort "organized and leveraged the visits of" two members of the Hapsburg group — a group of former European leaders allegedly paid to lobby on behalf of Ukraine — "to make critical in-roads in how policymakers view Ukraine" in the United States.

Manafort also boasted in the memo about how he arranged to place op-eds in publications, including The Hill, and sought to pitch "our narrative and messaging to key reporters and editors at the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and New York Times."

Manafort is facing charges in Mueller's probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, including failing to register as a foreign agent with the Justice Department for lobbying work performed on behalf of Ukraine and Yanukovych.

That case is set to go to trial in September.

Prosecutors added new charges against Manafort last week accusing the former Trump campaign chairman of witness tampering in the case.