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The FBI and Justice Department officials gave Associated Press reporters a green light on information they gathered which ended up in a negative story on former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.
The OK came at what appears to be an unusual summit between four AP reporters, the FBI and Andrew Weissmann at Justice Department offices. Mr. Weissmann is a senior lawyer for Special Counsel Robert Mueller and is prosecuting the jailed Mr. Manafort in Virginia and D.C.
The article goes on to state the following:
Mr. Weissmann set up the meeting on April 11, 2017, while heading the Justice Department’s fraud division, according to two internal FBI emails. He joined Mr. Mueller’s staff the next month and brought indictments against Mr. Manafort, starting in October 2017.
The indictments are nearly a carbon copy of what AP reporters told Mr. Weissmann and the FBI they had found on Mr. Manafort: Money laundering payments made by Ukrainian politicians; tax evasion on those funds and failure to register under the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA).
The public now knows about the AP-FBI alliance because Kevin Downing, Mr. Manafort’s attorney, has waged an aggressive campaign to force Mr. Mueller to disclose evidence. In this case, Mr. Downing accuses the government of leaking grand jury proceedings and false information about his client, feeding news stories that malign Mr. Manafort in the eyes of potential jurors.
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