Did former Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, meet with Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno and did they discuss WikiLeaks or the website’s founder Julian Assange?
That’s apparently one of the events that Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team are looking into, according to CNN and Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein.
This isn’t the first time that a Manafort - Moreno meeting has been reported. The Associated Press reported last November that Moreno admitted to meeting with Manafort and Chinese businessmen who proposed privatizing Ecuador’s electric corporation. The plan was rejected.
Moreno didn’t say what, if anything, else was discussed during the meeting, when the story broke in 2017, after Manafort had been inducted on various financial charges in the United States, the AP reported in 2017.
Manafort was found guilty on eight counts, including five counts of tax fraud, one count of failure to file a report of a foreign bank and two counts of bank fraud. A mistrial was declared on 10 other charges, NBC News reported in August.
He also pleaded guilty in a separate case to conspiracy and witness tampering in September, CNN reported.
The meeting between Moreno and Manafort, was likened at the time, to other meetings Moreno had in an attempt to cultivate economic and political partnerships, the AP reported.
The Guardian reported Tuesday that Manafort met with Assange several times at the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2013, 2015 and spring 2016. Months after the final alleged meeting, Democratic emails that had been taken by Russian intelligence officers were given to WikiLeaks.
Manafort maintains he was not involved with the hack. WikiLeaks denies that Assange and Manafort met, saying that the allegations are false, The Guardian reported.
Monday, Mueller said that Manafort lied to federal investigators, going against his September plea agreement, The New York Times reported.
Mueller said in a court filing Monday that Manafort’s “crimes and lies” about various subjects negate the promises made in the plea agreement. Manafort, however, cannot withdraw his plea, the Times reported.
Manafort’s attorney said he has not violated the agreement and that he has met with the special counsel’s office and “believes he has provided truthful information,” the Times reported.