Trump Aide Rick Gates Communicated With Former Russian Spy Before Election

Trump Aide Rick Gates Communicated With Former Russian Spy Before Election

Trump Aide Rick Gates Communicated With Former Russian Spy Before Election

New court documents filed Tuesday night directly connect former Trump campaign deputy chairman Rick Gates to an operative with ties to Russia's military intelligence unit.

The special counsel Robert Mueller's office revealed the information late Tuesday in documents related to the upcoming sentencing of Dutch lawyer Alex van der Zwaan.

Update: And of course, the biggest issue here is that Gates himself admitted to van der Zwaan that he knew of Kilimnik's relationships with Russian intel at the time. Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agents assisting the Special Counsel's Office assess that Person A has ties to Russian intelligence service and had such ties in 2016.

The revelation that Gates knew Kilimnik had been a Russian intelligence officer could prove to be the most significant turn in Mueller's investigation to date, said a person familiar with the probe into whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Prosecutors have said previously that a longtime Manafort and Gates associate had ties to Russian intelligence, but they have never said those ties remained during the 2016 campaign.

Manafort worked for former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in the 2010 election, when he was challenged by Orange Revolution opposition leader and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

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It might not mean much - but if it didn't, why would van der Zwaan (and possibly Gates) try to keep it from investigators and risk an obstruction of justice charge?

The possibility of a pardon raises new questions about why Manafort has repeatedly refused to cooperate with Mueller's team.

Manafort has pleaded not guilty to dozens of charges related to tax and bank fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy against the US. Lawyers for van der Zwaan said he should not be sentenced to jail. "He thereafter deliberately and repeatedly lied", as well as "withheld and otherwise destroyed documents requested by the Special Counsel's Office through his counsel relating to his work with Manafort, Gates, and Person A" including a September 12, 2016, email "that the government had obtained through other means".

Hours later, Flynn's brother posted a new tweet saying, "Mr. President, I personally believe that a pardon is due to General Flynn, given the apparent and obvious illegitimacy of the manner in which the so called "crimes" he plead (sic) guilty to were extracted from him". Van der Zwaan, who was sacked by Skadden Arps in November, also said that he recorded a conversation he had with a partner at the law firm regarding his conversation with Person A.

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