After the indictments on Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the campaign’s liaison with the Republican National Committee, Rick Gates, were unsealed earlier this week, many Trump supporters and even Trump himself were quick to announce that these indictment made no mention of Russian collusion.
While this is true, very few people close to Robert Mueller really expected the indictments to mention collusion. After news of the indictments passed though, there was another document released showing that former campaign aide, George Papadopoulos had plead guilty to lying to the FBI. This document showed interest by the campaign to have “off-the-record” meetings with Russian oligarchs.
Now, as of last night, additional documents have been unsealed in relation to the Paul Manafort and Rick Gates indictments, specifically detailing the defendants’ conditions for release. In the document, the court appears to have released both men to house arrest, but there is a stipulation that requires additional supervision on behalf of Paul Manafort. While it doesn’t mention it specifically, the “supervision” being detailed typically refers to the wearing of a tracking device of some kind.
In order to convince the courts of these strict requirements, Robert Mueller’s team laid out their reasoning by providing details of just how much money both of these men have, as well as their connections in both Ukraine, and Russia. Yes, that’s right….. RUSSIA!
“The indictment sets forth and charges the defendants with engaging in a long running and complex scheme to funnel millions of dollars into the United States, through various entities and accounts in Cyprus, Grenadines, Seychelles and England, owned or controlled by the defendants (Manafort and Gates) worldwide, and passed through a series of foreign accounts. Manafort, Gates, and a Russia national — who is a longstanding employee of Davis Manafort Partners, Inc. and DMP International LLC (collectively DMI)—served as the beneficial owners and signatories on these accounts.”
Rachel Maddow surmises, based on plenty of facts, that this “Russian national” is Konstantin Kilimnik, who is known as ‘Kostyra, the guy from the GRU’. Kilimnik is known for bragging about his Russian military intelligence services, and his close ties to Russian intel.
To clarify, Robert Mueller is basically saying that Kilimnik had direct access to Manafort and Gates’ funds. This is especially interesting considering that individuals who are familiar with Kilimnik’s work say that his assignments in the Ukraine included serving as a liaison to Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, who was close to Putin and often did business with Manafort.
Later in these same newly released documents, Robert Mueller’s team alleges that Manafort and Gates have specific ties to Russia, specifically saying:
“DMI, which Manafort owned and where Gates worked, had staff in Kiev and Moscow. And both Manafort and Gates have connections to Ukrainian and Russian oligarchs, who have provided millions of dollars to Manafort and Gates. Foreign connections of this kind indicate that the defendants would have access to funds and an ability “to live comfortably” abroad……. a consideration that strongly suggests risk of flight.”
So there you have it, Russian ties to Paul Manafort and Rick Gates are being investigated by Robert Mueller, and given the fact that both of these men played huge roles on the Trump campaign, undoubtedly Mueller is trying to connect the dots to determine where this Russian money came from and went to.
Let us know your thoughts on this newly unsealed information in the comments section below.