Last week, the WSJ reported that Mueller is investigating a boat trip during which Manafort may have met Konstatin Kilimnik. He is a Russian intelligence asset (according to court filings) and long-time business partner of Manafort. Kilimnik is the person Manafort conspired with in witness tampering – he is also under indictment for that crime, but unfortunately is out of reach, residing somewhere in Russia.
This boat trip gained new relevance with yesterday’s filing of Manafort’s sentencing memo. The section titled “Interactions with Kilimnik” is heavily redacted. Could a mention of the boat trip be underneath one of those black bars?
I’m very curious as to what might be the significance of this possible meeting between Manafort and Kilimnik. Perhaps Mueller’s interest is related to the fact that Tom Barrack was aboard – he’s a Trump confidant, major campaign fund raiser, and billionaire whose fortunes are tied up with the UAE. Barrack’s presence made it an especially intriguing excursion – if all the alleged players were present, it represented a nexus of connections between Trump, his close friend/fund-raiser, his criminal campaign manager, Russian Intelligence, and the UAE! Sure wish I could have been a fly on the state room wall.
Special counsel Robert Mueller reportedly believes that President Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, lied about his lobbying income and meeting with a Russian-Ukrainian political operative, The Wall Street Journal reported…
One particular line of inquiry Mueller is probing is a boat trip that Manafort took with Tom Barrack, Trump’s friend and real estate developer, after Manafort resigned from the Trump campaign in August 2016.
Investigators are trying to figure out if Manafort met with Kilimnik on that trip, The Journal reported.
Kilimnik is a former Russian military intelligence officer, whose name grabbed headlines last year when it emerged that Manafort may have tried to use his role in the Trump campaign to resolve a financial dispute with Russian-Ukrainian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
(This is the Business Insider’s summary of the WSJ story – if you subscribe to the WSJ, you can read the full, original story here.)