We Have Collusion!
In another bizarre twist Manafort’s attorneys filed under seal their rebuttal to government claims Manafort lied while he was supposed to be a cooperating witness. However, the judge ordered his attorneys to post a redacted version publicly. They did, and that’s when things got weird. This is it.
While you can’t see the redacted text, it was somehow electronically preserved. You can copy and then paste the redacted portions into a different document. I copied it all, redactions included, and now un-redacted.
There’s some interesting stuff in the stuff you weren’t supposed to see, and one ginormous collusion bombshell.
That bombshell occurs in regards to conversations Manafort, as Chairman of Trump’s Campaign, had with Konstantin Kilimnik. Kilimnik is a Russian spy. He has already been indicted by Mueller as a co-conspirator with Manafort in conspiracies to defraud the United States, FARA reporting violations, money laundering, bank and wire transfer fraud and tax evasion and witness tampering while Manafort was on bail. Manafort employed Kilimnik in his company to lobby for pro-Russian candidates in the Ukraine. Yes, Trump’s Campaign Manager employed a Russian spy and engaged in various international mobster type crimes with him. That’s been known for a long time and Trumpers have not cared.
Manafort’s brief claims he didn’t intentionally lie to the government, but that he was often asked questions about conversations from years ago, when he was very busy being a presidential campaign manager, and involved in many communications. This included secret talks Manafort had with Kilimnik regarding a Ukraine peace plan. Mueller asserts Manafort lied about those discussions. In a redacted portion Manafort’s brief says:
In fact, during a proffer meeting held with the Special Counsel on September 11, 2018, Mr. Manafort explained to the Government attorneys and investigators that he would have given the Ukrainian peace plan more thought, had the issue not been raised during the period he was engaged with work related to the presidential campaign. Issues and communications related to Ukrainian political events simply were not at the forefront of Mr. Manafort’s mind during the period at issue and it is not surprising at all that Mr. Manafort was unable to recall specific details prior to having his recollection refreshed. The same is true with regard to the Government’s allegation that Mr. Manafort lied about sharing polling data with Mr. Kilimnik related to the 2016 presidential campaign.
Notably, Mueller likely insisted this be redacted because he didn’t want Trump to know he knew about it yet. Mueller did not want out that he had such strong evidence of collusion.
To summarize. The Russians were meddling in the election via both a disinformation campaign on social media and hacking Clinton/DNC emails to release in a weaponized fashion with the intention of helping the Trump Campaign. That’s not really even disputed now.
Trump’s Campaign manager was working with the Russians, by providing them campaign polling data. This assisted the Russian efforts in targeting their social media campaign and timing the release of emails. Russia was helping the Trump Campaign and the Trump Campaign was helping Russia help the Trump Campaign. That’s collusion.
Russia was helping the Trump Campaign and the Trump Campaign was helping Russia help the Trump Campaign. That’s collusion.
So what laws were broken? The same laws that the Russian GRU members are charged with in their meddling of the election. Paul Manafort, Trump’s Campaign Manager, engaged in a conspiracy with the Russians to commit those crimes.
Remember all those times Team Trump was telling you no talks with Russians were occurring. None. Now it turns out the Trump Campaign Manager was negotiating secret peace deals with the Russians, for after the election, while at the same time helping the Russians help the Trump Campaign win the election.
What consideration was Team Trump offering the Russians in exchange for the peace deal and the assistance given Team Trump?
Place now the secret Trump Tower meeting with the Russian lawyer/government operative in June 2016, that included Manafort, Kushner and Trump Junior, in the context of Manafort being involved in these secret deals on behalf of the campaign with the Russian spy Kilimnik. Place all that in the context of that Russian lawyer/government operative also being indicted today.
We were told there were no connections or dealings with the campaign and Russians. We now know the Trump’s Campaign Chairman was not only ass deep in his own, personal crimes with a Russian spy, but also working with that Russian spy to help Russia help the Trump campaign.