A senior Justice Department prosecutor in Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel office held a meeting with Associated Press journalists last spring to discuss an investigation into Paul Manafort’s financial record, a day before the wire service published a major expose disclosing alleged money laundering made by the former and now embattled Trump campaign chairman.
Federal prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, now a senior attorney in the special counsel’s office, met with AP journalists on April 11 after reporters informed him of their own investigation into Manafort’s dealings with Ukrainian officials. The reporters had reached out to Weissman on a different story earlier in the year and it was during that conversation, that the AP team told Weissmann of their investigation into Manafort, stated the sources. The AP published the explosive expose on April 12, a day after their meeting with Weissmann.
According to sources familiar with the meeting, the reporters had promised to share documents and other information gleaned from the own investigation with the Justice Department.
AP spokeswoman Lauren Easton said Thursday, “we refrain from discussing our sources.”
“Associated Press journalists meet with a range of people in the course of reporting stories, and we refrain from discussing relationships with sources. However, the suggestion that AP would voluntarily serve as the source of information for a government agency is categorically untrue,” added Easton.