Wednesday, 21 August, 2019

Manafort continued Ukraine work in 2018, prosecutors say

Mueller alleges Manafort continued work related to Ukraine despite 2017 indictment Manafort May Have Lied to Boost Chance at Pardon, Mueller Says
Deanna Wagner | 10 February, 2019, 15:30

A special counsel prosecutor also suggested in the hearing that the former campaign chairman was not forthcoming because Manafort was angling for a pardon.

According to the transcript, prosecutor Andrew Weissmann said the substance of the meeting, which took place in NY just weeks after the Republican National Convention, goes to the "larger view of what we think is going on" and what "we think the motive here is".

Much of the transcript was redacted, including portions relating to Kilimnik.

At the meeting, Ukrainian policy - and, it appears according to previous filings, a peace plan that would have benefited Russian Federation - came up. And the special counsel thinks that these facts give Manafort a motive to lie about it - suggesting he's covering up incriminating behavior.

They disclosed that Kilimnik traveled to Washington for Trump's January 2017 inauguration and met with Manafort.

"This goes, I think, very much to the heart of what the Special Counsel's Office is investigating", Weissmann said, noting Kilimnik's past intelligence ties and Manafort's position at the top of the Trump campaign at the time.

Trump furious over Schiff hires
President Trump took to Twitter on Friday to try to undercut House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. It comes as Democrats prepare to wield new investigative power after winning a House majority in 2018.

Weissmann adds that the special counsel considered the in-person meeting to come "at an unusual time for somebody who is the campaign chairman" - especially "to be doing it in person".

Kilimnik told the Washington Post that his meeting with Manafort on August 2 was "in no way related to politics or [the] presidential campaign in the U.S".

Prosecutors have previously outlined how Manafort's Ukrainian connections mattered to their probe, in that the Ukrainians Manafort had long worked for had pro-Russian leanings and ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The 2018 polling work took place after he was indicted.

The partially redacted transcript, of a lengthy hearing that took place behind closed doors on Monday, shows that Mueller's team contended that when Manafort was debriefed by prosecutors and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents, he seemed to be trying to avoid providing information that could be damaging to Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian-Ukrainian national who was deeply involved in Manafort's political consulting work in Ukraine. And in 2016. there is an in-person meeting with someone who the government has certainly proffered to this court in the past, is understood by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, assessed to be - have a relationship with Russian intelligence, that there is [redacted]. And a new transcript of closed-door hearing in the case released Thursday exposed stunning new details about the Mueller team's thinking and its progress in the investigation. Weissmann didn't explain the significance of the reference to a "backdoor".

Instead, the deal collapsed, with prosecutors withdrawing any offer of a recommendation for leniency and accusing Manafort in late November of lying repeatedly to them. No apparent criminal cases have been made public yet related to the topic.

Manafort has said he never lied to prosecutors. "Why would I take it off the table?"