Dec 7 (Reuters) - A Ukrainian newspaper will publish an opinion article about Paul Manafort’s work in the country that U.S. federal prosecutors have accused the former campaign manager for President Donald Trump of helping draft in violation of bail terms, chief editor Brian Bonner told Reuters.
The article was submitted to the English-language Kyiv Post on Monday by Oleg Voloshyn, an ex-spokesman for Ukraine’s foreign affairs ministry under former pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, Bonner said.
A federal grand jury indicted Manafort and his business associate Rick Gates in October as part of an investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
The charges against Manafort include conspiracy to launder money and failing to register as a foreign agent working on behalf of Yanukovych’s government, which lost power in 2014.
Bonner said Voloshyn claimed to have written the article and sent it to Manafort and the American’s longtime Russian colleague, Konstantin Kilimnik, for fact-checking before submission.
The newspaper will publish the article soon, with an editor’s note. Bonner said.
“It was blatantly pro-Manafort with an opinion about his activities that most people don’t share and that his record in Ukraine doesn’t support,” Bonner wrote in an email. “We have yet to publish it, but will do so, now that we have reached (Voloshyn) and he stands by the authorship.”
Voloshyn told Reuters he was not immediately in a position to comment but would do so later on Thursday.
On Monday, Mueller’s team submitted a filing to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, saying Manafort ghost-wrote an article about his work in Ukraine. Had it been published, prosecutors say it would have violated a Nov. 8 court order not to make “statements to the media or in public settings that pose a substantial likelihood of material prejudice to this case.”
Jason Maloni, a spokesman for Manafort, declined to comment, as did Joshua Stueve, a spokesman for Mueller.
Monday’s filing contained the following footnote: “On the evening of November 30, the government alerted defense counsel to the defendant’s efforts and were assured that steps would be taken to make sure it was no longer going to be published.”
Prosecutors said in Monday’s filing that the judge should reject Manafort’s request to lift bail conditions from house arrest and electronic monitoring.
Manafort’s lawyers were given a deadline of Thursday to show why their client had not violated the Nov. 8 order. (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk and Matthias Williams in Kiev, Nathan Layne in Los Angeles and Karen Freifeld in Washington; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)