The U.S. Treasury Department said Thursday that Konstantin Kilimnik, an associate and ex-employee of Paul Manafort, “provided the Russian Intelligence Services with sensitive information on polling and campaign strategy,” during the 2016 election, an apparently definitive statement that neither Special Counsel Robert Mueller nor the Senate Intelligence Committee investigation made in their final reports.
“This is new public information that connects the provision of internal Trump campaign data to Russian intelligence,” Andrew Weissmann, who led the prosecution of Manafort for the Special Counsel, told Just Security on Thursday.
The eye-catching statement was included in an announcement of new sanctions related to Russian interference in U.S. elections. The Biden administration took a number of steps Thursday to punish Russia, not only for election interference, but also the SolarWinds cyberattack, its ongoing occupation of Crimea, and human rights abuses.
Kilimnik was one of 16 individuals the Treasury Department announced it was sanctioning for attempting to influence the 2020 U.S. presidential election at the direction of the Kremlin. The Treasury Department is also imposing new sanctions on 16 entities, including several Russian disinformation outlets.
Kilimnik is, according to the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report, a Russian Intelligence Services officer who became central to investigations of Russian interference in the 2016 election thanks to his close ties to Manafort, who served as Donald Trump’s campaign manager in 2016. [Continue reading…]