Manafort accuses Mueller team member of leaks

Former Trump campaign boss faces multiple charges

By KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Paul Manafort

(CNN) - Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort accused a prominent member of special counsel Robert Mueller's team of leaking details of the investigation into the political operative to a media organization.

Manafort says in a new filing that lead special counsel prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, who now leads the prosecution against Manafort, communicated with The Associated Press last year to share details of the investigation into Manafort, who at that time had not been indicted. Manafort rests his accusation in the court filing on the writings of freelance journalist Sara Carter.

According to Politico, Manafort has been charged in Virginia for tax evasion, bank fraud and failure to report foreign bank accounts. He has been charged in Washington D.C. fir money laundering and failing to register as a foreign agent for his Ukraine-related work.

Manafort, who maintains his innocence, claimed the AP briefing -- which he says happened around the time the news agency published stories about payments to him and his associations with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska -- was an illegal leak of grand jury secrets and classified material. Manafort alleged the leaks deprived him of his right to a fair trial.

"It is the long-standing policy of The Associated Press to refrain from discussing our sources," a spokesperson for The Associated Press said Monday.

Manafort also asked the court to look into leaks coming from the special counsel's team. The White House has similarly called for an investigation of Mueller's team due to what President Donald Trump calls conflicts of interest among investigators on the team.

The judge is set to hold a hearing on Manafort's case in June, but hasn't indicated if he'll address the leak accusations.

The special counsel's office has said in the past that Manafort's accusations of leaks don't involve any protected grand jury activity. The prosecutors add that any bias in a jury can be rooted out at trial during jury selection.

The special counsel's office did not respond to a request for comment Monday.

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