It was a little under a month ago that NBC reported on notes that campaign chairman Paul Manafort had taken during the now infamous May 9th, 2016 Trump Tower meeting. The meeting, which Manafort took part in with Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr, and several Kremlin-connected individuals, has been a key part of Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia.
Back in late August, NBC reported that Manafort’s notes from the meeting, which the administration claimed was about adoption, had actually included references to donations and the Republican National Committee. While NBC’s report stopped short of claiming that such notes indicated that Russians were donating to the RNC or the Trump campaign, suspicions have been running wild ever since.
Now here we are a month later and a new report from Brian Ross and the ABC News Investigative Unit has shed even more light onto these notes taken by Manafort.
According to ABC News, Manafort made a ‘cryptic and cursory notation on his phone’. This notation stated the following: “Active sponsors of RNC”. According to ABC, some of the investigators working with Robert Mueller have viewed this phrase as a reference to campaign donations.
While, it would not be illegal for Russian born or Kremlin-linked American citizens to donate to a campaign, it would be illegal if those donations were directed by the Kremlin or those working close to the Kremlin. It would also be illegal if the funds, which were diverted to the RNC or the Trump campaign, were received from Kremlin-linked officials by these US citizens prior to sending them to the RNC or Trump campaign.
Certainly this phrase used by Manafort will catch the attention of investigators, and may even give them reason to expand their investigation to others within the RNC in addition to the Trump campaign. Let’s hear your thoughts on Manafort’s notes in the comments section below.