December 7, 2017 6:13 pm

Defence lawyer says Paul Manafort’s work on op-ed does not violate gag order

Paul Manafort, U.S. President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, recently enlisted a longtime Russian colleague to help him ghostwrite an op-ed about his political work for Ukraine - a move that could violate the court order not to discuss his case publicly. Reuters' Jane Lanhee Lee reports.

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President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is denying that he violated a judge’s order through his involvement in an op-ed intended to be published in an English language newspaper in Ukraine.

READ MORE: Op-ed Paul Manafort helped ghostwrite could violate court order

Manafort attorney Kevin Downing says in court papers that his client only sought to “correct the public record” about his work in Ukraine. He says Manafort doesn’t give up his First Amendment right just because he’s facing federal charges.

Prosecutors working for special counsel Robert Mueller have argued that Manafort violated a judge’s order barring him from trying his case in the press.

The prosecutors had also said that Manafort ghostwrote the op-ed with a longtime colleague “assessed to have ties” to Russian intelligence.

Downing didn’t address the allegation of the colleague having foreign intelligence ties.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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