Shocking information just keeps rolling out of the recently released Mueller report, including the detail that Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort employed a Ukrainian businessman named Konstantin Kilimnik, who also has ties to Russian intelligence.
Mueller has it all- all the Kilimnik info, that is.
Special counsel Robert Mueller had access to a bulk of government documents which describe Kilimnik as a “sensitive” intelligence source for the U.S. State Department but Mueller’s team chose NOT to include the Kilimnik connection in it’s report. The reason has yet to be revealed but now intense scrutiny surrounds this little omission.
Mueller actually deemed the Kilimnik info as so important that he mentions it in the very opening of the now famous Mueller report, saying “The FBI assesses” Kilimnik “to have ties to Russian intelligence” and goes on to paint quite a dark narrative of Kilimnik’s connection to Trump, specifically to Manafort. Furthermore, Kilimnik was actually still working for Manafort at the same time that he was a “sensitive” intelligence source for the State.
Kilimnik’s connections run deep.
Memos show that during his time as a source, he frequently interacted with Alan Purcell, the chief political officer at the U.S. Embassy in Kiev to whom he provided sensitive information. Those memos also show long email reports that he delivered to U.S. officials during that time as well, and the FBI full well knew all of this before the conclusion of the Mueller investigation.
Purcell regarded Kilimnik to be an extremely valuable asset. One FBI interview report said, “Purcell described what he considered an unusual level of discretion that was taken with handling Kilimnik… Normally the head of the political section would not handle sources, but Kasanof informed Purcell that KILIMNIK was a sensitive source.”
According to Purcell, Kilimnik provided “detailed information about OB (Ukraine’s opposition bloc) inner workings”, with that information often being considered so valuable and relevant that it was sent immediately to the ambassador. Apparently other Western governments knew Kilimnik’s value as well. The FBI report went on to say, “One time, in a meeting with the Italian embassy, Purcell heard the Italian ambassador echo a talking point that was strikingly familiar to the point Kilimnik had shared with Purcell.”
Kasanof was the U.S. Embassy political officer before Purcell, told the FBI he knew Kilimnik’s history and described him as a reliable insider, especially where Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was concerned. Kasanof said, “Kilimnik was one of the only people within the administration who was willing to talk to USEMB.”
The FBI detailed Kasanof’s relationship with Kilimnik in their report, saying, “Kasanof met with Kilimnik at least bi-weekly and occasionally multiple times in the same week… Kasanof allowed Kilimnik to take the lead on operational security.”
State officials pointed out that although Kilimnik had homes in both the Ukraine and Russia, he did not seem to hold any allegiance to Moscow. Kasanof said, “Most sources of information in Ukraine were slanted in one direction or another… Kilimnik came across as less slanted than others.”
Mueller’s choice: what Kilimnik details to leave in, what to leave out.
Again, Mueller’s team had access to all of these FBI interviews with state officials as well as all of Kilimnik’s reports to the U.S. Embassy way before he was characterized as a Russian sympathizer and way before he was charged with trying to obstruct the Russian investigation. Doubt has since been raised about the Mueller report’s portrayal of Kilimnik as a Russian agent.
The report makes a huge deal Kilimnik’s meeting with Manafort in August 2016 at the Trump Tower in NYC- a point in time where Manafort was just about to resign because of the millions of dollars he had accepted as a lobbyist for Yanukovych’s party.
The Mueller report also brings up Kilimnik’s delivery of a peace plan to the Trump campaign: “Kilimnik requested the meeting to deliver in person a peace plan for Ukraine that Manafort acknowledged to the Special Counsel’s Office was a ‘backdoor’ way for Russia to control part of eastern Ukraine.”
State email records, however, show a different story and timeline altogether. Kilimnik actually delivered the first version of his peace plan to the Obama administration in May 2016. Kilimnik was in Washington to have dinner with Kasanof, who had just been promoted to a top policy position at State and the next day he sent an email to Kasanof’s official State email where he outlined their conversation on the peace plan from the previous night.
According to that email, Russia wanted “a quick settlement” in order to have “Ukraine out of the way and get rid of sanctions and move to economic stuff they are interested in.” Kilimnik detailed an eight point plan, including a ceasefire, a economic recovery zones laws to help with rebuilding, and a “presidential decree on amnesty” for all involved with conflict. Kilimnik also made the bold and important statement that the old Yanukovych political party aligned with Russia was long dead. He wrote, “Party of Regions cannot be reincarnated. It is over.”
Kasanof replied quickly and thanked Kilimnik for the plan and although he seemed skeptical of some of the intel, he said it was “very important for us to know” and said “I passed the info to my bosses, who are chewing it over.”
So, lets get this straight: Kilimnik’s delivery of the peace plan to the Trump campaign in August 2016 was highlighted and painted as sinister by Mueller but the first delivery to the Obama administration wasn’t even mentioned. This is what the intelligence world calls “deception by omission.”
All requests for comments from the State Department, the FBI, the Justice Department and Mueller’s office have been ignored, however Kilimnik did blast the Mueller report’s portrayal of him in an email last month to The Washington Post, saying, “I have no ties to Russian or, for that matter, any intelligence operation.”
Kilimnik has dual citizenship- Ukrainian and Russian, was in the Soviet military AND went to academy in Russia so it actually is likely that he had Russian intelligence connections. There is also evidence in his work history that would raise concerns about a Russian intelligence tie as well considering he left a position with U.S.-backed International Republican Institute in 2005 because of mounting speculations about those very connections.
The omissions, the negative character painting… These details call into question what else might be left out or incorrect in the Mueller report. If many more errors come to light, America might be left wondering just what the Mueller report is worth after all.