It has come to light that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has found the missing link between the Donald Trump campaign and Russian intelligence. Then campaign chair Paul Manafort and one of his business associates were that link, according to the transcript on Manafort’s sealed February 4, 2019 Washington D.C. court appearance.
A top prosecutor on Mueller’s team Andrew Weissman told the judge why Manafort’s alleged lies mattered. The attorney is known as “the pit bull” attorney and prosecuted the ENRON case for Mueller, too. According to the court’s transcripts, Weissman said that it went to:
‘…what we think is going on, and what we think the motive here is. This goes, I think, very much to the heart of what the Special Counsel’s Office is investigating.’
The special counsel alleged that Manafort lied about the number of times he met with Russian-linked Ukrainian Konstantin Kilimnik. Mueller had evidence of meetings between Manafort and Kilimnik when the men met to discuss a Ukrainian-linked matter. That included one on August 2, 2016 in the heat of the Trump presidential campaign.
They met at the Grand Havana cigar club, located at 666 Madison Avenue in Manhattan — a property that used to belong to Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. The men left by separate entrances. They also met in December 2016 and early 2017. The latter meeting occurred when Kilimnik was in the U.S. for Trump’s presidential election.
The bulk of the meetings’ details had been redacted. However, The Huffington Post reported that the subject of those meetings appeared to be this “Ukrainian peace plan.” That was a euphemism for Trump lifting the sanctions that the U.S. government had placed upon Russia. President Vladiimir Putin had long wanted these lifted. Since, Trump became president, he has either slow-walked or dropped the sanctions altogether, according to Putin’s wishes.
The point of Mueller’s investigation focused on the Russians’ probable meddling in the 2016 presidential elections. In addition, he was directed to probe into whether anyone in the Trump campaign conspired with Moscow.
Manafort has appeared before the court so that he can talk to the judge about why he lied to the judge and why he continued doing business with the Russia-linked Ukrainian. It was a closed hearing so that the judge could have access to all the evidence, according to Huffington Post:
‘The closed hearing was held so the judge could weigh evidence supporting allegations by Mueller’s office that Manafort had lied to prosecutors about five subject matters in breach of a plea agreement struck in September. Manafort, WHO was convicted of financial crimes by a jury in a separate case in Virginia in August, has said any inconsistencies in his statements to prosecutors and the grand jury were not intentional.’
Manafort not only communicated with the Trump administration after he made a deal with Mueller’s people, he also kept working for one of his Ukrainian clients in 2018.
At this time, Mueller has caught 34 people in his web. However, Russia denies those allegations, and Trump has denigrated Mueller’s investigation as a political witch hunt.
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.