Paul Manafort didn’t just ghost-write portions of a controversial op-ed about himself, he also excised details about his work for the former Russia-aligned president of Ukraine that he felt “would not be good to mention,” according to email from Manafort that was unsealed in a court document on Monday.
The op-ed was intended to appear under the byline of Oleg Voloshin, a former spokesman for Ukraine’s foreign affairs ministry. Last week special counsel Robert Mueller argued that Manafort had substantially authored or re-written portions of the piece, and had therefore violated a gag order in his criminal case. Manafort denied the charge.
The newly-unsealed e-mail chain is between Manafort and Konstan Kilimnik, who sent Manafort the op-ed draft for review and comment. Kilimnik is longtime associate of Manafort who worked with him to support pro-Russia political figures in Ukraine.
“I have attached a framework for the op-ed in the Kyiv Post for Oleg,” Manafort wrote back on November 29. “It keeps his approach but takes out pieces that would not be good to mention.”
“You will notice that I left several areas where you need to insert points,” Manafort added. “I am available to talk either tonight or in the morning.”
A red-lined draft attached to the e-mail shows Manafort excised entire paragraphs, including one that mentioned he “had an ear of the president on a more regular basis than even some his ministers.” The “president” in this case is former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, who Manafort served as a political consultant before Yanukovych was ousted over corruption and policies friendly to Moscow.