Ex-Trump aide Manafort shared data with Russians
The filings also revealed that Manafort and Kilimnik had discussed plans for resolving Ukraine, which had been invaded by Russia in 2014 and annexed Crimea.Updated: Jan 10, 2019 00:13 IST
Paul Manafort, ex-chairman of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, had shared poll data with a Russian associate who is said to have had links to Russian intelligence, according to an inadvertent court filing error by his lawyers.
Some experts are saying this is the clearest indication yet of coordination between the Trump campaign and Russians. “This is the closest thing we have seen to collusion,” Clint Watts, a senior fellow with the Foreign Policy Research Institute, told The New York Times.
In court filings in response to charges from Special Counsel Robert Muller that Manafort lied after agreeing to a plea deal, the former campaign chairman’s lawyers left un-redacted the portion that showed he has he been accused of passing on campaign material to the Russian man, Konstantin Kilimnik.
Kilimnik was supposed to pass on the data to Oleg V Deripaska, a Russian businessman close to the Kremlin, who was owed money by Manafort.
The filings also revealed that Manafort and Kilimnik had discussed plans for resolving Ukraine, which had been invaded by Russia in 2014 and annexed Crimea, which had attracted a slew of sanctions from the United States and eviction of Russian from the G-9 (now G-8) group of industrialized nations.
There has been a growing list of interactions between members of the Trump president campaign with Russians, with the Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer being the most high-profile of them, which is being investigated by Special Counsel Mueller, who is also looking at possible collusion.
Manafort, who headed the Trump campaign for a few months in 2016 but not all the way through, has already been convicted by one court, and is facing charges in another court — but none of the charges implicate him for involvement with the Russian interference. He had served as a an adviser to and a lobbyist for a former Ukrainian government, which was close to Kremlin.
He was cooperating with the special counsel’s team in a plea deal in regards to the second court case. But he has been accused since of breaching the deal by lying.
First Published: Jan 10, 2019 00:12 IST