Trump Aide Spoke During Campaign to Associate Tied to Russian Intelligence

Marsha Scott
March 29, 2018

The report cited "three people with knowledge of the talks".

The court declaring is attached to the sentencing of Dutch legal representative Alex van der Zwaan, that begged guilty last month to existing to the unique advice regarding his communications with Gates.

The connection between Gates and the former intelligence officer, identified only as "Person A" in the records filed late on Tuesday, is significant because criminal charges brought against Gates and Manafort relate only to their lobbying work for Ukraine prior to the 2016 US presidential election and do not delve into their activities during the campaign.

The New York Times did not say when the pardons discussions took place but Flynn pleaded guilty on December 1, while the Mueller probe began in May 2017.

Update: And of course, the biggest issue here is that Gates himself admitted to van der Zwaan that he knew of Kilimnik's relationships with Russian intel at the time. Lawyers for van der Zwaan said he should not be sentenced to jail.

The Mueller memorandum states: "That Gates and Person A were directly communicating in September and October 2016 was pertinent to the investigation". After van der Zwaan pleaded guilty to false statements on February 20, Kilimnik declined to comment on whether he was Person A.

Mueller's office accused Manafort in December of working with Kilimnik to help ghostwrite an op-ed a year ago about his consulting work in Ukraine.

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Manafort worked for former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in the 2010 election, when he was challenged by Orange Revolution opposition leader and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Oleg Voloshyn, the former spokesman for Ukraine's ministry of foreign affairs under Yanukovych, told Bloomberg past year that he wrote the op-ed and sent a draft to Kilimnik in early December.

Kilimnik also acted as an intermediary between Manafort and Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In the filing, Mueller said Gates told van der Zwaan that "Person A" was a former intelligence officer with Russia's foreign intelligence service, the GRU.

A Manafort spokesman expressed confidence in June that investigators would ultimately conclude that Manafort's interactions with Kilimnik were "perfectly permissible and not in furtherance of some conspiracy".

Gates pleaded guilty last month to conspiracy and making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The possibility of a pardon raises new questions about why Manafort has repeatedly refused to cooperate with Mueller's team.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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