We knew — due to particular counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation — that Trump marketing campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, handed alongside inside polling and different technique paperwork to a person named Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian-linked intelligence operative.

And, we knew that Kilimnik, who was one of 16 people singled out for sanction by the Biden administration on Thursday, had handed that data on to the Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs for whom he labored.

Which is a BIG deal.

Why? Consider what we now know:

1. Russia interfered in the 2016 election to assist Donald Trump and harm Hillary Clinton as a result of of a perception that the billionaire businessman can be higher for the nation’s curiosity than would the ex- Secretary of State.

2. The highest echelon of the Trump marketing campaign — Manafort and Gates — handed alongside inside polling and technique memos that discovered their method into the fingers of the “Russian Intelligence Services.”

Now, that is to not say that Manafort and Gates knew that Kilminik would (or did) hand over the data to Russian intelligence businesses. (Although given Kilimnik’s background as Russian-linked intelligence operative it in all probability wasn’t that huge a leap of religion.) This additionally doesn’t suggest Trump had any concept what they have been doing.

But what it is to say is that proprietary information from Trump’s presidential marketing campaign wound up in the possession of the intelligence service of a rustic that was searching for to actively intrude in an election to assist the man they thought can be higher for them win. And it was that man’s marketing campaign who offered the information to them (whether or not wittingly or unwittingly)!

It’s lengthy been true that Trump’s insistence that the investigation into Russia interference was a “hoax” has been with out benefit. Mueller, the US intelligence community and the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee all arrived at the identical conclusion: Russia actively meddled in the 2016 election to assist Trump and harm Clinton. (Earlier this month, the US intelligence community released a report making it clear that Russia once more meddled in the 2020 election, with the objective of “denigrating” Joe Biden’s probabilities and “supporting” Trump’s reelection.)

Mueller didn’t search for “collusion,” solely proof of a legal conspiracy between the Trump marketing campaign and the Russian authorities. He mentioned he did not discover sufficient proof to convey these fees. But this back-channeling of marketing campaign data from Americans to Russians would appear to suit the layman’s definition of “collusion.”

It’s additionally lengthy been true that Trump’s willingness to just accept Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denial of Russian involvement was laughable. “My people came to me, (Director of National Intelligence) Dan Coats came to me and some others, they said they think it’s Russia,” Trump said at a press conference with Putin in Helsinki in 2018. “I have President Putin; he just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be.”

Now we all know that not solely did Putin’s nation meddle in 2016 (and 2020) however they did so in the former election with inside polling and technique paperwork from the Trump marketing campaign. Astounding.


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