According to a court document mistakenly filed by the defense team of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, federal investigators may have had an inside informant providing financial information from Manafort's consulting firm.
The one-page memo submitted along with a routine scheduling motion seems to have been prepared by a defense lawyer or investigator trying to assemble information that could support a claim by Manafort's defense of improper contacts between the prosecution team — now headed by special counsel Robert Mueller — and the media.
Per the document, titled "DOJ, OSC and the Press", internal records for Manafort's firm Davis Manafort Partners International were accessed by a reporter:
"In the Winter of 2017 (sic 2016) employee of DMI—CS-1 permitted the reporter to view material on a hard drive copy of DMI's electronic files," the document reads, using a standard FBI acronym for a confidential source. "Government obtained warrant for the hard drive."
The reporter is unnamed in the document and no relevant parties have offered comment, but Politico said the memo does identify the Associated Press and a story it ran on April 12, 2017.
"Financial records newly obtained by The Associated Press confirm that at least $1.2 million in payments listed in the ledger next to Manafort’s name were actually received by his U.S. consulting firm," said the story, published under a joint byline by reporters Jack Gillum, Chad Day and Jeff Horwitz.
Citing the same seizure warrant affidavit, the notes filed by Manafort's defense team also relates that The Associated Press gave [Manafort spokesman Jason] Maloni copies of two memos Manafort wrote to a Ukranian oligarch in 2005 about work for Ukraine's Party of Regions. The defense filing suggests the memos came from the one of the reporters who wrote the April 12 AP story.