It also says that Manafort met in 2014 with the Justice Department and the FBI in the government’s investigation of his client, former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, ousted amid street protests that year. The Manafort suit claims the government told Manafort he was a witness in the investigation. The special counsel has now charged Manafort with conduct he had already voluntarily disclosed, the lawsuit says.
Manafort “voluntarily met with DOJ prosecutors and FBI agents to discuss his offshore political consulting activities” in July 2014, the complaint says. At that time, the Justice Department told him they were working with Ukraine to locate stolen assets and focused on a former Ukrainian president, according to the complaint.
“The office of the special counsel charged Mr. Manafort with the very conduct he voluntarily disclosed to DOJ almost three years prior to the appointment of Mr. Mueller as special counsel,” the complaint says.
Manafort’s lawsuit notes that during his time working for the Ukrainian government he met regularly with the US ambassador in Kiev, suggesting that the US government knew what he was doing at the time.
The suit also cites the July FBI raid on Manafort’s home, in which the special counsel team said it was seeking records of possible financial crimes dating to January 2006 — a decade before the presidential campaign Mueller is investigating.
Manafort and Gates face a total of 12 criminal charges related to money laundering and failure to file federal disclosures. Both Manafort and Gates have pleaded not guilty and are scheduled to appear again before the judge in the criminal case on January 16.