Paul Manafort was 'a grave counterintelligence threat,' Republican-led Senate panel finds

Written by on August 18, 2020


Paul Manafort has been launched from a minimal safety Pennsylvania jail to dwelling confinement as a result of coronavirus fears. He was convicted of fraud and conspiracy costs in 2018. Video Elephant

WASHINGTON – Paul Manafort’s function as chairman of the Trump marketing campaign, his longstanding ties to individuals affiliated with Russian intelligence providers, and his willingness to share info with them “represented a grave counterintelligence risk” in the course of the 2016 presidential race, in keeping with a brand new report from the Senate Intelligence Committee. 

“The Committee discovered that Manafort’s presence on the Marketing campaign and proximity to Trump created alternatives for Russian intelligence providers to exert affect over, and purchase confidential info on, the Trump marketing campaign,” in keeping with the voluminous report launched Tuesday.

The report is the ultimate installment from the Republican-led committee’s three-year investigation of Russian election interference in 2016 and gives a complete description of contacts between Trump marketing campaign aides and Russian actors. The report additionally gives an unflattering have a look at the FBI, which the committee mentioned gave “unjustified credence” on the findings of a former British intelligence officer, or the so-called Steele file, because it sought courtroom approvals to wiretap a former Trump marketing campaign aide. 

“We are able to say, with none hesitation, that the Committee discovered completely no proof that then-candidate Donald Trump or his marketing campaign colluded with the Russian authorities to meddle within the 2016 election,” Sen. Marco Rubio, the committee’s performing chairman, mentioned. “What the Committee did discover nonetheless may be very troubling. We discovered irrefutable proof of Russian meddling. And we found deeply troubling actions taken by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, notably their acceptance and willingness to depend on the ‘Steele File’ with out verifying its methodology or sourcing.”

The report delves deeply into Manafort’s ties with Konstantin Kilimnik, whom the committee described as “a Russian intelligence officer” and with whom Manafort “sought to secretly share” delicate inside polling knowledge from the Trump marketing campaign. The committee, nonetheless, mentioned it was unable to find out why Manafort did so, or with whom Kilimnik shared the knowledge.

The committee additionally mentioned it obtained proof suggesting that Kilimnik could have been tied to the Russian intelligence hack and leak operations in the course of the 2016 presidential race. 

Manafort is considered one of half a dozen former Trump aides and associates who had been indicted on account of former particular counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. His ties to Kilimnik, a longtime enterprise affiliate with ties to Russian intelligence, shadowed a lot of Mueller’s investigation into Trump’s former marketing campaign supervisor. 

Early final 12 months, a federal decide discovered that Manafort had lied repeatedly to federal prosecutors about his contacts with Kilimnik, in the end upending a plea settlement Manafort had struck with Mueller’s staff. Among the many contested exchanges, prosecutors asserted that Manafort lied about having offered polling knowledge to Kilimnik.

In 2018, Manafort and Kilimnik had been charged along with making an attempt to hinder Mueller’s investigation by in search of to dam the testimony of a minimum of two witnesses.

The case prompted a decide to revoke Manafort’s bail and order him to jail to await separate trials on a slew of monetary fraud costs in Alexandria, Virginia and Washington, D.C., the place he was in the end convicted. 

After being sentenced to a mixed sentence of simply greater than seven years, Manafort was released to home confinement Might because of the threat posed by the unfold of the coronavirus in federal jail.

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