A bombshell U.S. Treasury Department report is exposing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s malicious actions. Now that his lapdog is out of the White House, details about what Moscow really did to the U.S. are unfolding. We knew something was up, because Donald Trump acted so strangely around the man, going well beyond simple admiration. So what have we learned about the Russian leader?
The Treasury report exposed Konstantin Kilimnik as Trump’s former campaign manager’s Paul Manafort’s former employee, business associate, and oh so much more. A bipartisan 966-page Senate Intelligence Committee report revealed Kilimnik is a Russian Intelligence Services officer. And he was the hub for Moscow’s interference in the 2016 election. The reason was his close ties to Manafort.
In a Thursday Treasury Department news release regarding the latest sanctions, we learned:
‘Kilimnik provided the Russian Intelligence Services with sensitive information on polling and campaign strategy. Additionally, Kilimnik sought to promote the narrative that Ukraine, not Russia, had interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. In 2018, Kilimnik was indicted on charges of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice regarding unregistered lobbying work. ‘
‘Kilimnik has also sought to assist designated former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych. At Yanukovych’s direction, Kilimnik sought to institute a plan that would return Yanukovych to power in Ukraine.’
The report continued:
‘Kilimnik was designated pursuant to E.O. 13848 for having engaged in foreign interference in the U.S. 2020 presidential election. Kilimnik was also designated pursuant to E.O. 13660 for acting for or on behalf of Yanukovych. Yanukovych, who is currently hiding in exile in Russia, was designated in 2014 pursuant to E.O. 13660 for his role in violating Ukrainian sovereignty.’
Kilimnik has been a wanted man since 2018, and the FBI reported a significant reward:
‘The FBI is offering a reward of up to $250,000 for information leading to the arrest of Konstantin Viktorovich Kilimnik.’
‘Konstantin Viktorovich Kilimnik is wanted by the FBI for obstruction of justice and engaging in a conspiracy to obstruct justice which occurred in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere from in or about and between February 23, 2018, and April of 2018.’
‘A 2018 indictment issued by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia alleges that Kilimnik knowingly and intentionally attempted to corruptly persuade another person, with intent to influence, delay, and prevent testimony in an official proceeding.’
Why was this not included in the Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s nor that of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s final reports? Andrew Weisman was in charge of prosecuting Manafort for Mueller. He explained to Just Security:
‘This is new public information that connects the provision of internal Trump campaign data to Russian intelligence.’
The FBI report continued:
‘Kilimnik worked and served as a liaison to Ukrainian and Russian politicians and businessmen. Kilimnik, who is assessed by the FBI to have ties to Russian Intelligence, allegedly assisted with a multi-million dollar lobbying campaign in the United States which was allegedly conducted at the direction of the Ukrainian Government without providing disclosures required by law. Kilimnik was involved in manipulating the 2016 presidential election.’
The 966-page Senate Intelligence Committee report stated:
‘The Committee was unable to reliably determine why Manafort shared sensitive internal polling data or Campaign strategy with Kilimnik or with whom Kilimnik further shared that information. The Committee had limited insight into Kilimnik’s communications with Manafort and into Kilimnik’s communications with other individuals connected to Russian influence operations, all of whom used communications security practices. The Committee obtained some information suggesting Kilimnik may have been connected to the GRU’s hack and leak operation targeting the 2016 U.S. election.’
The Treasury Committee report also indicated:
‘While the Committee obtained evidence revealing that Kilimnik shared with [Oleg] Deripaska other information passed on by Manafort–such as links to news articles–the Committee did not obtain records showing that Kilimnik passed on the polling data. However, the Committee has no records of, and extremely limited insight into, Kilimnik’ s communications [redacted]. As a result, this lack of documentary record is not dispositive.’
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.