Last night, the special counsel’s office released a partially redacted transcript from former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s plea hearing. The transcript reveals more damaging information about ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
A federal prosecutor told the court that Manafort’s August 2016 meeting with Konstantin Kilimnik — a known Russian agent — goes “very much to the heart” of Mueller’s investigation.
The court asked “whether Kilimnik knew who he was working for” when he met with Trump’s campaign chairman three months before the 2016 presidential election.
The transcript also revealed that Manafort and Kilimnik talked about a Ukraine peace plan from August 2016 until at least winter 2018.
The special counsel had previously disclosed that Manafort had contacts with the Trump White House into 2018. Now we know that Manafort was still working on a Ukraine peace plan at that time — and potentially lobbying the White House.
A prosecutor made it clear that Manafort and Kilimnik did not want to be seen together.
He revealed that Kilimnik and Manafort — friends and longtime business associates — had gone out of their way to keep their August 2016 meeting a secret.
In a redacted section of the transcript, a prosecutor mentions Manafort’s use of a backdoor.
Using a backdoor connection to conspire with a foreign adversary is illegal. Maybe that’s why Manafort and Kliminik wanted to cover it up.
The transcript suggests that someone got a job in the Trump administration after Manafort put in a good word.
If Manafort successfully got someone a job at the White House, he also had someone on the inside who was beholden to him.
Mueller and his team are far from done. They still appear to be investigating actions between Manafort and Kilimnik.
It is essential that Mueller’s investigation be allowed to continue without interference, and that a full report is released to the public.