Manafort's ex-son-in-law talking with Mueller's team

2018-05-18 08:23
Paul Manafort leaves Federal District Court in Washington. (Alex Brandon, AP, file)

Paul Manafort leaves Federal District Court in Washington. (Alex Brandon, AP, file)

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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, US President Donald Trump's former campaign chair, who suffered a setback in his legal defence 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.

Separate probes

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.

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