Four BIG Takeaways from Mueller’s new Manafort filing
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s office is alleging former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort continued work related to Ukraine after his 2017 indictment, according to a redacted transcript from Manafort’s hearing with federal prosecutors on Monday.
The hearing focused on whether Manafort breached his plea agreement by lying to investigators, including about his meetings with Konstantin Kilimnik, who is suspected of having ties to Russian intelligence. Prosecutors allege Manafort was talking about a redacted issue related to Ukraine as late as 2018.
Mueller prosecutor Andrew Weissmann told a federal judge Monday that a meeting Manafort and Kilimnik had in August 2016 was “of significance to the special counsel.” A redacted version of the transcript was released Thursday.
At the meeting, Ukrainian policy — and, it appears according to previous filings, a peace plan that would have benefited Russia — came up. Manafort in interviews with the special counsel said the discussion with Kilimnik about the topic ended then.
But, prosecutors say, Manafort met with Kilimnik several times throughout 2017 and even into 2018, and discussed Ukrainian policy again and again.
One of the discussions took place in person in January 2017 when Kilimnik was in Washington for Trump’s inauguration, the filing said.
And there’s this from Axios:
During the hearing, the judge asked the prosecutor why discussions of a “backdoor” between the two men during an August 2016 meeting were so important. Prosecutor Andrew Weissmann responded: “This goes, I think, very much to the heart of what the Special Counsel’s Office is investigating … That meeting and what happened at the meeting is of significance to the special counsel.”