Court documents filed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Monday reveal former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was ghost-writing an editorial alongside a Russian colleague that was meant to sway public opinion in his favor. Manafort, who was indicted by Mueller’s team on conspiracy and money laundering charges on October 30, had worked on the editorial as recently as November 30.
The documents, filed in Federal District Court in Washington, D.C., indicate that Manafort was effectively attempting to try his own case in the press, something for which U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson had already admonished him, after Manafort’s lawyers spoke to the media following his initial October 30 hearing.
“This is a criminal trial, not a public relations campaign,” Jackson said at the time. “I expect counsel to do their talking in this courtroom and in their pleadings and not on the courthouse steps.”
The op-ed mentioned in Mueller’s court filing on Monday shows the lengths to which Manafort went to paint himself in a more favorable light, against Jackson’s subsequent court order barring those involved in the case from speaking about it to the public.
“Even if the ghostwritten op-ed were entirely accurate, fair, and balanced, it would be a violation of this Court’s [previous order] if it had been published,” Mueller writes. “The editorial clearly was undertaken to influence