Special Counsel Robert Mueller certainly didn't take the holidays off, he's been hard at work and new court filings this week show that former Trump Campaign chair Paul Manafort and his Russian NRA contact Konstatin Kilimnik are definitely the keys to the kingdom.
Prosecutors working for special counsel Robert S. Mueller III have intensively scrutinized Paul Manafort’s activities after President Trump’s election — including after Manafort was criminally charged — and indicated they have extensive details not yet made public about Manafort’s interactions with former Russian aide Konstantin Kilimnik and others, a Tuesday court filing showed.
Although heavily redacted, the documents state that Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, claimed he was trying to get people appointed in the new presidential administration. The filing also states that in another Justice Department investigation, Manafort provided information that appears related to an event while he was with the campaign in August 2016.
Prosecutors also showed keen interest in a $125,000 payment made in June 2017 that Manafort characterized in three ways that were contradicted, the filing says, by his tax filings and exchanges with his tax preparer.
Prosecutors filed a 31-page affidavit from an FBI agent, plus another 406 nearly fully blacked-out exhibits, after a federal judge last week ordered them to lay out the “factual and evidentiary basis” for their claims that Manafort lied repeatedly after his plea deal and has breached his cooperation agreement.
The filing in federal court in Washington asserts that Manafort shifted answers to questions posed by the FBI and Mueller probe investigators, prompting his lawyers to pull him aside on several occasions to review statements.
In one interview with investigators and prosecutors in October 2018, the filing states, Manafort’s attorneys requested a break to speak with Manafort after he contradicted his prior statement — even after his lawyers had shown him a typewritten summary of it.
The statement came in a separate criminal investigation by a U.S. attorney outside the District and described events around an incident that Manafort said occurred before he left the Trump campaign on Aug. 19, 2016, according to information in the new filing.
Manafort’s attorneys have previously said that any misstatements on his part after his plea agreement were unintentional.
Manafort, 69, pleaded guilty in September in federal court in Washington to charges that he conspired to cheat the Internal Revenue Service, violate foreign-lobbying laws and tamper with witnesses. Separately, a jury in federal court in Virginia convicted Manafort in August of bank and tax fraud.
To recap, Mueller knows everything. Manafort lied and continued to lie about most of it, and Mueller knew he was lying to the point where the plea deal fell apart and Manafort most likely will never breathe air as a free man again.
Meanwhile Manafort's relationship with Russian fixer Kilimnik, who was working with convicted spy Maria Butina on using the NRA as a Russian slush fund to fund the GOP, has been painstakingly detailed by Mueller and the evidence presented to a grand jury and a federal judge.
The signals are unmistakable at this point. The Trump campaign colluded with Russian agents during and after the 2016 campaign. Mueller knows it all. And when it drops, America will never be the same.