Donald Trump’s already shaky assertions that there was absolutely no collusion between his campaign and Russia crashed into a concrete wall this week.
Court documents submitted by Paul Manafort’s lawyers accidentally revealed that, while serving as Trump campaign chairman, Manafort handed over internal polling data to Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian businessman linked to the GRU military intelligence agency, and urged Kilimnik to hand the data over to two Ukrainian oligarchs with close ties to the Kremlin.
Meanwhile, federal prosecutors in New York indicted Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who helped arrange the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Manafort, Don Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner on the promise to deliver dirt about Hillary Clinton. The indictment stems from Veselnitskaya allegedly lying in a separate money-laundering case about her links to Russian intelligence.
Next month, Trump’s erstwhile fixer Michael Cohen is scheduled to testify before the House Oversight Committee. Americans may finally learn the full details on Cohen’s efforts throughout 2016 to open a Moscow Trump Tower — even as Trump was strenuously denying he had any business interests in Russia.
Asked Thursday if he had been aware that Manafort had shared polling data with Russian operatives, Trump responded, “No. I didn’t know anything about that.”