Washington – This was one of the more intriguing but open questions in investigating the possible relationship between Russia and Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. ??
A statement from the Treasury on Thursday provided potentially important clues, claiming that Russian and Ukrainian political consultant Konstantin Kilimnik shared confidential campaigns and voting information with Russian intelligence.
Kilimnick has long been claimed by US authorities to be associated with Russian intelligence. However, the statement in the announcement of broader Treasury sanctions was the first time the US government had drawn a direct relationship from the Trump campaign to the Kremlin intelligence. This revelation was even more surprising as it went beyond the claims made in either Special Counsel Robert Swan Mueller’s 2019 report or a more terribly detailed document released by the Senate Intelligence Committee last year. ..
Neither of these investigations was able to determine how Kilimnick processed the data and whether he shared it further.
The issue resurfaced Thursday as Kilimnick was one of the 32 people and groups authorized by the US government to interfere with the 2020 elections. Officials say Kilimnick tried to promote a fake story that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 elections.
Kilimnick was an important but mysterious figure in Mueller’s investigation into potential coordination between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign. Manafort’s business associate, Kirimnick, who works closely with him and manages his company’s office in Kiev, has been mentioned 156 times in Mueller’s report. He was also charged with witnessing allegations of tampering with Manafort, but has never faced these charges in the United States. The FBI has issued a $ 250,000 award for information that could lead to his arrest.
An important episode investigated by Mueller included Manafort’s decision to share campaign voting data with Kilimnick. Prosecutors say they lied when Manafort was asked. Investigators have scrutinized a series of secret encounters between men, including one at the Grand Havana Club in New York in August 2016.
So, according to a statement provided by Mueller, Manafort explained to Kilimnick about internal campaign data and messaging, and they discussed the state of the battlefield.
The exchange of poll data suggests that Russia could have used such inside information, especially to target influence campaigns aimed at boosting Trump’s election bids in 2016. Therefore, it was an eye-catching data point.
However, Mueller’s team said they could neither “certainly determine” the purpose of Manafort to share it, nor evaluate what Kilimnick did with it. The Senate Committee was also emptied, but the report drew attention for characterizing Kilimnick as a Russian intelligence agent.
It wasn’t clear if there was new information that led to the Treasury’s assessment that Kilimnick “provided Russian intelligence with confidential information about voting and campaign strategies.” A Treasury spokesman did not return an email asking for comment.
Follow Eric Tucker on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/etuckerAP.
Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
U.S. says Russia was given voting data for the Trump campaign in 2016
Source link U.S. says Russia was given voting data for the Trump campaign in 2016