Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, accused a lead prosecutor on special counsel Robert Mueller’s team of leaking information to reporters, CNN reported.
In a new filing Monday night, Manafort says that Andrew Weismann, lead special counsel prosecutor, shared details of the investigation with four reporters from The Associated Press, including freelance journalist Sara Carter, the report said.
Manafort, who maintains that he is innocent, said the AP briefing was an illegal leak of classified material and grand jury secrets, and that the leaks prevent him from having a fair trial. Manafort said the AP briefing happened around the time that the AP, an international news agency, published a story about his association with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, the report said.
"It is the long-standing policy of The Associated Press to refrain from discussing our sources," an AP spokesperson said Monday, CNN reported.
In the court filing, Manafort said that officials leaked the details to create the "false public narrative" about collusion with Russian officials. "Not only is leaking classified information a felony, but it was also apparently intended to create the false public narrative that Mr. Manafort was colluding with Russian intelligence officials during the Trump presidential campaign," Manafort said in the filing.
“In light of the mass media coverage of these leaks in print, on television, radio, and the Internet, it seems unlikely that there is a jury questionnaire, instruction, or change of venue that could cure the irreparable harm to Mr. Manafort’s constitutional rights resulting from leaks by the highest-level government officials,” the filing said.
The former campaign chairman is facing charges including money laundering, bank and tax fraud, and failing to register as a foreign agent with the Justice Department. The charges against Manafort are not directly related to his work on the Trump campaign, but are related to Manafort’s business dealings in Ukraine, The Hill reported.
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