December 8, 2017 / 10:52 PM / 10 months ago

Special Counsel Mueller produces evidence that Manafort drafted op-ed

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller unveiled a trove of documents on Friday showing what he said was “irrefutable evidence” that President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort violated a court gag order by ghost-writing an opinion piece designed to improve his public image.

FILE PHOTO: Former Trump 2016 campaign chairman Paul Manafort leaves U.S. Federal Court, after being arraigned on twelve federal charges in the investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, in Washington, U.S. October 30, 2017. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan/File Picture

In a 41-page court filing, prosecutors provided emails, copies of documents tracking edits of the draft, and other materials they said proved that Manafort wrote a positive article about his political work in Ukraine.

That opinion article, which was published on Thursday in an English-language Ukrainian newspaper, also closely tracked talking points that Manafort and his business associate Rick Gates created as far back as August 2016, when Manafort was forced to resign from the Trump campaign.

Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch in Washington

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