Paul Manafort leaves the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after a status conference on November 2, 2017.
Prosecutors working for special counsel Robert Mueller say Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been working on an op-ed essay with a longtime colleague "assessed to have ties" to a Russian intelligence service.
The statement came as prosecutors working for special counsel Robert S. Mueller III withdrew their support for a joint bail deal filed last week that would have released Manafort from home detention and Global Positioning System monitoring while he awaits trial on charges including money laundering and fraud.
The allegation was disclosed Monday as the reason the special counsel was backing out of a deal on bail with Manafort's lawyers. Prosecutors said Manafort's co-writer, who was not named, is a longtime colleague "who is now based in Russia and assessed to have ties to a Russian intelligence service". But the Department of Justice (DOJ) has called for the court to throw out the motion because Manafort allegedly violated the terms of his bail by penning an op-ed with a co-writer connected to Russian intelligence.
Court papers say Manafort and the colleague sought to publish the op-ed under someone else's name and intended it to influence public opinion about his work in Ukraine.
Such an editorial, if published, would have violated an order from the judge barring the parties and the lawyers from making statements about the case that might prejudice the proceedings, prosecutors said.
An attorney for Manafort did not immediately return a request for comment.
They face charges including conspiracy to launder money, conspiracy against the United States and failing to register as foreign agents of Ukraine's former pro-Russian government.
Manafort and Kilimnik were in contact during the months that Manafort ran Trump's campaign. None of the charges connect to Trump or the Trump campaign.
Along with being under home detention and Global Positioning System monitoring, Manafort has pledged to pay $10 million if he fails to appear in court. Manafort's eight-bedroom house in Bridgehampton, New York, which Manafort had proposed pledging as part of his bail package, is already covered under the government's forfeiture action and prosecutors are asking for other assets.