“Justice Department documents released on Friday confirm that the DOJ attorney known as Robert Mueller’s “pit bull” arranged a meeting with journalists in April 2017 to discuss an investigation into Paul Manafort.
The documents show that Andrew Weissmann arranged a meeting with DOJ and FBI officials and four Associated Press reporters on April 11, 2017, just over a month before Mueller was appointed special counsel.
Manafort’s lawyers obtained the documents on June 29 and revealed them in a briefing filed in federal court in Virginia. The attorneys are pushing for a hearing into what they say are possible leaks of secret grand jury information, false information and potentially classified materials from the meeting.
“The meeting raises serious concerns about whether a violation of grand jury secrecy occurred,” a lawyer for Manafort, Kevin Downing, wrote in a motion requesting a hearing. “Based on the FBI’s own notes of the meeting, it is beyond question that a hearing is warranted.”
Manafort’s attorneys have for months questioned whether Weissmann, the number two official on the Mueller team, leaked information about Manafort to The AP. At the time of the meeting, Weissmann served as chief of the Justice Department’s criminal fraud section.
He previously served as general counsel to Mueller when he was FBI director. Weissmann joined the special counsel’s investigation when it was formed on May 17, 2017. (Read more: Daily Caller, 7/08/2018)