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(Bloomberg) — A federal judge said she agreed with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s claim that Paul Manafort lied about his contacts with a Russian associate but said she couldn’t determine if the Russian was a spy.
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson concluded that Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, made intentional false statements about his communication with Konstantin Kilimnik, a translator tied by Mueller to Russian intelligence, according to a transcript of a sealed hearing released Friday.
The article goes on to state the following:
Manafort’s contacts with Kilimnik are “at the undisputed core” of Mueller’s investigation into whether anyone in Trump’s campaign coordinated with Russian meddling with the 2016 election, Jackson said at a Feb. 13 court hearing, according to the transcript.
Kiliminik “doesn’t have to be in the government or even be an active spy to be a link” to Russia, yet she didn’t have enough information to decide if he’s a spy, she said.
“I have not been provided with the evidence that I would need to decide, nor do I have to decide because it’s outside the scope of this hearing,” Jackson told lawyers in her federal courtroom in Washington.
In a redacted transcript, a judge describes why she believes former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort lied about discussions with Konstantin Kilimnik https://t.co/Dec4DqYvso pic.twitter.com/jOHffF9xel
— CNN (@CNN) February 16, 2019
Judge Jackson questioned where Manafort’s loyalties lie in trying to shield Kilimnik’s pro-Russian lobbying efforts.
“This is a problematic attempt to shield his Russian conspirator from liability and it gives rise to legitimate questions about where his loyalties lie.” https://t.co/GjABPjBxpB
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 16, 2019
“Mr. KILIMNIK doesn’t have to be in the government or even be an active spy to be a link” between the Kremlin & the TRUMP campaign, says Judge Amy Berman Jackson, adding the interactions between MANAFORT & KILIMNIK are “at the undisputed core” of MUELLER’s probe. pic.twitter.com/dmgt0aFcff
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) February 16, 2019
One theory I hadn’t heard before that Judge Amy Berman Jackson described was the idea that Manafort wants people to believe that Kilimnik isn’t a Russian asset or a friend of Putin because he might be doing other things that Manafort wants to protect. @CNN #Manafort pic.twitter.com/mH3ExKNEa0
— Juliette Kayyem (@juliettekayyem) February 16, 2019
Well the Manafort judge certainly doesn’t see any witch hunt here!
She says Konstantin Kilimnik is significant to the Mueller investigation because he was a link between the Russian government and the Trump campaign.
— Shimon Prokupecz (@ShimonPro) February 16, 2019
The judge said Manafort also lied in connection with a separate Justice Department investigation when as he tried to take back information about other people he had proffered to prosecutors as a person who worked “at the highest level of the campaign.”
— Spencer Hsu (@hsu_spencer) February 16, 2019
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