Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has revealed that US President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort was sharing polling data and discussing Russia-Ukraine policy with his associate, Konstantin Kilimnik, a man who has ties to Russia’s military intelligence. This was revealed in a court filing that was meant to be redacted by Manafort's legal team on Tuesday but was mistakenly released publicly.
This is a major development unearthed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe that concretely proves of the connection between Donald Trump’s campaign and its contacts with Russians – specifically contact between at least one Trump campaign official and the Kremlin.
According to the court filings, Manafort is also seen to be discussing a possible Ukraine peace plan which dealt with Russian intervention in the region.
The filings show that Manafort was personally in touch with Konstantin Kilimnik even after Trump’s election win, who he met in Madrid, Spain in 2017.
US prosecutors have said they believe Kilimnik has ties to Russia’s military intelligence unit the GRU. Units connected to the GRU allegedly hacked the Democratic Party and leaked damaging emails during the time Paul Manafort was Trump's election campaign manager.
Kilimnik has as of now been charged with allegedly helping Manafort tamper with witnesses following his arrest. Manafort and Kilimnik have been close for years.
Trump’s former campaign manager has been in jail since June 2018, after US prosecutors charged him with attempting to change witness' testimony against him while he was under house arrest. Manafort was later in the year convicted in a Virginia federal court for eight tax and bank fraud charges. He already faces a long prison sentence on these charges.
However, his uncooperative stance with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team has led many to believe that despite his conviction, Manafort might receive a full pardon from his former boss, President Trump.