, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Special Counsel Robert Mueller believes that Paul Manafort, former Trump campaign chairmen, shared polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik, a Ukranian translator and campaign adviser believed to have ties with Russian intelligence, and that he later lied about it. Apparently, Manafort’s lawyers have conceded that Manafort neglected certain details of his Ukrainian dealings, as they wrote in a court filing that “[i]t is not surprising at all that Mr. Manafort was unable to recall specific details prior to having his recollection refreshed.” The filing also notes that Manafort forgot  and later recalled that he had met with Kilimnik in Madrid in January or February of 2017, which was after Trump became President-elect, but also after Manafort’s tenure as campaign chairmen. Manafort and Kilimnik have previously been accused of witness tampering, for allegedly reaching out to members of the Hapsburg group, and asking them to lie about secret, pro-Ukrainian lobbying done at Manafort’s behest.

If it is to be believed that Kilimnik does have ties to Russian intelligence, then this information establishes, at least, a Russian interest in President Trump’s candidacy. Of course, that is not new information. At most, it could go to establishing communication between Trump and Russia post-election. That being said, it is only circumstantial evidence. The fact that foreign powers are interested in Trump’s nomination and presidency, does not mean he cooperated with foreign powers, and the fact that Manafort cooperated with foreign powers, does not mean that Trump participated. Still, this another straw on the camel’s back.

gettyimages-975251610_wide-a5b8c154718a06791ada3f9447c359251dd114b5.jpgAFP/Getty Images