Manafort ignored advice to stop talking with Russian-linked associate after indictment: report
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort ignored the advice of his allies and continued to talk to a Russian associate even after he was indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller, The New York Times reported late Friday.
Manafort and Konstantin Kilimnik traded emails throughout the 2016 presidential campaign — even appearing to discuss the financial benefit Manafort’s high-level position could bring, according to the report.
Manafort reportedly continued to communicate with the trusted associate after first being indicted in October 2017 for money laundering.
Allies of Manafort urged him to cut off communication with Kilimnik, also known as “KK,” The Times reported. They reportedly argued that Kilimnik’s communications could be bugged and that he is not discreet or tactful.
Kilimnik, a Russian Army-trained linguist, was Manafort’s right-hand man for more than a decade and ran the Kiev office of Manafort’s political consulting company, Davis Manafort Partners.
“KK is one of the best interpreter and translators,” Philip Griffin, a longtime business partner of Manafort’s in Ukraine who hired Kilimnik in 1995, told the Times. “On everything else, he is a dumbass.”
The special counsel accused Manafort and Kilimnik this week of trying to conspire together in February to persuade former associates to lie about their project, according to court documents.
Mueller filed a superseding indictment on Friday in a D.C. court, bringing charges against Manafort and Kilimnik for obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice.
The two new counts are in addition to five previously issued charges.
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