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Manafort Ex-Son-in-Law,Mueller in Talks05/18 06:18

   The confirmation of Jeffrey Yohai's extensive involvement with Mueller's 
ongoing investigation comes as he has been caught up in another investigation 
in New York and has reportedly cut a plea deal with federal prosecutors in 
California.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- Paul Manafort's former son-in-law says he has been so 
busy with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation that he's been unable 
to keep up with his other legal issues, according to a court filing and a 
lawyer involved in a civil lawsuit against him.

   The confirmation of Jeffrey Yohai's extensive involvement with Mueller's 
ongoing investigation comes as he has been caught up in another investigation 
in New York and has reportedly cut a plea deal with federal prosecutors in 
California. The developments could add pressure to Manafort, President Donald 
Trump's former campaign chairman, who suffered a setback in his legal defense 
earlier this week after a judge denied his motion to dismiss charges filed 
against him.

   According to a May 10 court filing in a New York civil case, Yohai claims 
he's missed deadlines to turn over documents in the case "due to his 
involvement in the federal investigation by Office of Special Counsel" and 
other matters.

   Chris Spuches, a lawyer for the landlord suing Yohai in the case, said the 
judge wasn't impressed, saying "special counsel or no special counsel," he 
needed to produce documents and sit for a deposition.

   During the hearing, Spuches said, Yohai's lawyer told him his client had 
been talking with Mueller's team and had at some point spoken to investigators 
without a lawyer present because "he said he didn't have anything to hide."

   In a one-sentence email, Yohai's lawyer Steven Czik denied saying that to 
Spuches, adding that to his knowledge Yohai "has not appeared before special 
counsel." He wouldn't elaborate and did not respond to follow-up questions.

   Yohai did not immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment. 
Multiple calls to other numbers associated with him were out of service.

   In addition to his involvement in the special counsel investigation, Yohai 
has been caught up in separate probes in New York and California.

   Reuters reported Thursday that Yohai had entered into a plea agreement with 
federal prosecutors in California in a case involving allegations he misused 
funds from a construction loan. As part of that agreement, which is still under 
seal, the news agency reported that Yohai is required to cooperate with other 
federal investigations.

   In recent months, Yohai has also met with investigators with the New York 
attorney general's office as part of its investigation of his financial 
dealings, according to a person familiar with the matter. That person spoke on 
condition of anonymity because the person wasn't authorized to publicly discuss 
a confidential investigation.

   Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni declined comment. A spokesman for the 
special counsel didn't immediately return a request for comment.

   Manafort faces two criminal cases brought by the special counsel's office. 
Combined, the cases charge him with bank fraud, tax evasion, acting as an 
unregistered foreign agent and false statements related to his political work 
in Ukraine as well as loans he took out to purchase U.S. properties.

   Manafort has pleaded not guilty and denied any wrongdoing.

   Also Thursday, prosecutors in one of his cases handed over to U.S. District 
Judge T.S. Ellis III a full copy of a memo detailing the specific activities 
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein authorized Mueller to investigate.

   Prosecutors had publicly filed in court a heavily redacted copy of the 
three-page memo last month, revealing that Rosenstein had given Mueller 
authority to investigate Manafort's Ukrainian political work in addition to 
Russian election meddling. Ellis had bristled at the lack of transparency, and 
asked for a full copy filed to him under seal as he considers a motion by 
Manafort challenging the special counsel's authority to prosecute him.

   In total, Mueller has brought charges against 19 people --- including four 
Trump campaign advisers --- and three Russian companies over the past year.

   The Aug. 2 memo was drafted before any of the indictments and guilty pleas 
being filed by Mueller's office, so it likely contains references to some of 
those public cases.


(KA)

 
 
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