Bernie Sanders’ campaign strategist Tad Devine turns up 16 times in evidence against Paul Manafort
The chief strategist for the Bernie Sanders campaign was in contact with Paul Manafort and a Russian alleged spy also indicted in the special counsel probe, according to new court filings.
Tad Devine, who helped run the Vermont senator’s Democratic primary campaign, shows up 16 times in a list of nearly 500 evidence exhibits published Wednesday evening by prosecutors in the Manafort case, reported the Washington Post.
The former campaign chairman for President Donald Trump and Devine worked together nearly a decade ago for former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych and his pro-Kremlin Party of Regions, and the pair remained in contact until at least 2014.
According to the new court filing, Manafort and Devine communicated by email through June 2014, about five months before he joined the Sanders campaign that November.
Devine and Sanders had worked together on campaigns in the 1990s, and the Democratic strategist has also worked as a campaign aide to Al Gore, John Kerry, and Michael Dukakis.
The evidence list published by federal prosecutors also shows Devine was in contact until at least 2014 with Manafort’s longtime lieutenant Rick Gates, who pleaded guilty in the special counsel probe and has agreed to cooperate, and Manafort’s “Russian brain,” Konstantin Kilimnik.
Kilimnik, who U.S. investigators believe has current ties to Russian intelligence, was indicted last month, along with Manafort, on obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice charges.
The list published by prosecutors shows Devine communicating with Manafort, Gates and Kilimnik about their work for Yanukovych, who was ousted in 2014 following widespread protests.
Manafort will stand trial as soon as next Wednesday on charges that he hid money made for his work in Ukraine to avoid paying taxes and then lying about his debt to obtain new loans.
He’s also indicted on money laundering charges and for failure to register as a foreign agent, and Manafort was jailed last month on witness tampering charges.
The evidence in the upcoming trial shows Manafort communicated with Devine about their work for Yanukovych, who fled to Russia following his ouster, and other issues related to the Ukraine political activity.
The document lists only email or memo subject lines — such as “Election Night Speech,” “Job Well Done” and “Ukraine Trip” — but no additional information about those communications.
Devine backed away from his work for Yanukovych after the Ukrainian president began cracking down on dissent, although he evidently remained in contact with his former colleagues.
Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver reportedly asked Devine to use his connections to Manafort to set up a debate with then-candidate Trump, who apparently liked the idea, but the campaign strategist never called back his old colleague to discuss the proposition.