9 January 2019
Cogito Ergo Non Serviam
Former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort gave Russian operatives internal campaign polling data during the 2016 presidential race. This isn't speculation nor is it fiction. It comes from a court filing by Mr. Manafort's own attorneys. They failed to electronically redact some lines that show collusion between the campaign chair and the Russians, specifically Konstantin Kilimnik a 'former' member of the GRU, an organization from which one cannot resign.
The Washington Post reported this morning, "The special counsel alleged Manafort 'lied about sharing polling data with Mr. Kilimnik related to the 2016 presidential campaign,' according to the unredacted filing." The special counsel has to have evidence of this in order for it to make the allegation. That's how it works. Mr. Manafort's people must discredit the evidence or explain it away, but the filing did not address that. So, the evidence is probably solid.
The reason the world knows any of this is due to poor lawyering on the part of Mr. Manafort's legal team. At the expense of being technical and boring, the file in question was in PDF format. There is a redact function in Adobe Reader, but it is clunky and user-unfriendly. What the lawyer appears to have done is use a black background for the text in question. When printed, that looks the same as redacted text. However, the text is not removed, merely covered. It is easy to uncover that in the computer file and, as a result, read what should not be read.
The poorly redacted text included, "After being shown documents, Mr. Manafort 'conceded' that he discussed or may have discussed a Ukraine peace plan with Mr. Kilimnik on more than one occasion); id. at 6 (After being told that Mr. Kilimnik had traveled to Madrid on the same day that Mr. Manafort was in Madrid, Mr. Manafort 'acknowledged' that he and Mr. Kilimnik met while they were both in Madrid."
So, here is a clear and admitted pattern of the chairman of the Trump campaign meeting with a GRU officer. They are holding discussions beyond the weather and how fast the kids are growing up. They are discussing global affairs, and information is going from the campaign into the Aquarium (GRU headquarters). It takes no expertise in the behavior of Russian intelligence to realize that if any of the information provided were actionable, the GRU would act on it. That's how intelligence organizations work.
This journal has opined that Mr. Manafort has opted for a prison cell rather than a cooperation deal with Mr. Mueller's investigation because he fears the GRU more than he does the federal penal system. Mr. Manafort's consulting business got him into trouble when the money from his shady dealings with the pro-Russian government of Ukraine a few years ago. When that government was ousted he lost millions in revenue, and his debt soared. He owed oligarch Oleg Deripaska several million dollars and wrote about his chairmanship that it might be used to "get whole."
It is no secret that the GRU is a tougher bunch than any mafia family; they have a government backing them up. If one owed Tony Soprano or Michael Corleone several million dollars that one could not pay back, bad things (lethal things) would follow. The GRU is responsible for poisoning a former agent in England with a nerve agent and murdering another with polonium-laced tea.
Mr. Manafort was a desperate man with a chance to get out of his situation if he played the chairmanship of the campaign right, or so he believed. As a result, he colluded with Mr. Kilimnik, and possibly others. Certainly, he collaborated with others through Mr. Kilimnik. The only question that remains now is whether he told Mr. Trump what he was doing.
What is troubling is that one can readily believe he spoke this sentence, "Donald, I just spoke with Kostya, the GRU guy, and he says the polling data I gave him will really help with their attacks on Crooked Hillary."
As troubling is that one can also readily believe the response from Mr. Trump was, "Good going, Paul. Keep it up."
© Copyright 2018 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Ubuntu Linux.