By Steve Neavling
One of the most revealing details of Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russia was made public this week by accident.
In a court filing, lawyers for Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign boss, made a redaction error that revealed their client’s relationship with a Russian-linked operative named Konstantin Kilimnik.
During the campaign, Manafort met with Kilimnik and discussed “a Ukraine peace plan” and shared inside polling data.
So what’s the big deal?
It’s the first strong indication that Mueller’s team has evidence of possible collision between Russia and Trump’s campaign. As the head of Trump’s campaign, Manafort was communicating with Kilimnik, a suspected Russian intelligence agent who was indicted by Mueller’s team on obstruction of justice charges.
Manafort also urged Kilimnik to pass the data to Russian oligarch Oleg V. Deripaska, who has claimed Manafort was in debt to him over a failed business, The New York Times reported.
Just this month, the Department of Treasury lifted sanctions against Deripaska’s aluminum company.
The poorly redacted documents also contradict Trump’s repeated claims that Mueller has no proof of possible collusion.
Only time will tell whether Mueller has enough evidence of collusion.