Special Counsel Robert Mueller had yet another win in court Wednesday when Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled that Paul Manafort, the president’s former lawyer, lied to the investigators and thus breached the terms of his cooperation agreement.
One of the lies Jackson concluded Manafort told was about his meetings with Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian political consultant believed to have ties to Russian intelligence. At one of the key meetings in question in August 2016, Manafort provided Kilimnik with Trump campaign polling data. In a recent transcript of a hearing on whether or not Manafort lied about the meeting, the ex-campaign chair’s lawyers noted that the campaign data was highly complex and detailed.
“Here you have the campaign chairman,” said CNN legal analyst Toobin Wednesday night, “not some flunky, we’re not talking about the coffee boy — giving someone who is close to Russian intelligence something that is gold, the most expensively produced product of the Trump campaign: private polling. Which they can use to — social media… And that is closing the circle, potentially, between the Trump campaign and Russian interests, which is collusion.”
Toobin was referring to Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election, in part through social media campaigns. Mueller has already charged a group of Russian agents with committing federal crimes as a part of these efforts.
Jim Schultz, a lawyer who used to work for the Trump White House, tried to downplay the significance of the development on CNN by saying that campaigns give out polling data all the time, particularly to the media. He acknowledged, of course, that they don’t usually give it to Russian operatives. But Manafort’s lawyer’s comments suggest that is totally wrong — this wasn’t some press release showing positive, topline numbers for the Trump campaign; it was intricate, complex information that could potentially be useful in coordinating targeted advertising efforts.
Watch the clip below:
CNN Chief Legal Analyst @Jeffreytoobin says Paul Manafort giving private polling data to someone close to Russian intelligence could potentially close the circle between the Trump campaign and Russian interests, “which is collusion.” https://t.co/3ctC97LZCA pic.twitter.com/xwMxjdEr2y
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) February 14, 2019
Trump border official melts down on MSNBC after refusing to admit Trump lied about ‘mass raids’
On Thursday's edition of MSNBC's "The Beat," Ari Melber confronted acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan about President Donald Trump's empty threat of "mass raids" of communities nationwide by immigration officials — and Morgan was not pleased.
"The president said there would be these mass raids. Described as thousands of arrests," said Melber. "Were there mass raids, yes or no?"
"First of all, I don’t actually call this a raid," said Morgan. "I think words matter."
"Words matter, so I’m going to get to your response," said Melber. "Were there mass raids as promised?"
DOJ policy blocking Trump from being indicted ‘factored into’ the end of the Stormy Daniels case: report
Federal prosecutors decided to close the investigation into the 2016 criminal hush money payment to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal that benefitted the Trump campaign because, in part, of the policy that prevents the indictment of a sitting president, according to a new report from USA Today citing an anonymous source.
Michael Cohen has already pleaded guilty to the violation of campaign finance law. He said that he carried out the effort in coordination with and at the direction of then-candidate Donald Trump in order to increase his chances of victory in the 2016 presidential election.