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Trump attorney discussed pardons with Flynn, Manafort lawyers

29 Марта 2018

US President Donald Trump's lawyer told lawyers representing Paul Manafort last summer that the president might be willing to pardon his former campaign chairman if he was charged with a crime stemming from the investigation into Russian election interference, according to two people familiar with the discussions. His association with Gates and Manafort had been previously known, but not that those contacts continued into the presidential campaign.

This filing apparently does not come in the case against Gates or Manafort, intriguingly.

Rick Gates, the former aide, told an attorney for a USA law firm that a Russian they worked with in Ukraine was a former military intelligence officer, according to the filing late Tuesday in Washington.

In the document, prosecutors said Gates and van der Zwaan were in touch with the ex-Russian intelligence officer, who also worked for Manafort's lobbying firm in Ukraine, in September and October 2016. He pleaded guilty earlier this year to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his interactions with Gates and the former intelligence officer and is to be sentenced on April 3.

Mr. van der Zwaan was an attorney at a firm that worked with Mr. Manafort and Mr. Gates to prepare a report used to defend Viktor F. Yanukovych, the former Ukrainian president, from global criticism over the prosecution and incarceration of one of his political rivals. Why those six words were added in this filing when they didn't appear in a previous filing is the $64,000 question. Kilimnik told The Post in June that he has "no relation to the Russian or any other intelligence service". According to the Post's account, van der Zwaan attempted to hide those connections, both by misleading investigators and withholding documents, until they formally interrogated him about the matter. Kelner and a spokesman for Manafort also were not immediately available.

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The new van der Zwaan filing doesn't shed a whole bunch of new light on that, but it does suggest that Mueller views Kilimnik as a possible link between the Trump campaign and Russia, and believes Kilimnik hasn't been forthcoming about his ties to Russian intelligence.

During his August 2016 meeting with Kilimnik, Manafort has said he and his longtime Kiev office manager discussed, among other topics, the ongoing campaign, including the hacking of Democratic National Committee emails.

It might not mean much - but if it didn't, why would van der Zwaan (and possibly Gates) try to keep it from investigators and risk an obstruction of justice charge?

The court declaring is attached to the sentencing of Dutch legal representative Alex van der Zwaan, that begged guilty last month to existing to the unique advice regarding his communications with Gates.

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Trump attorney discussed pardons with Flynn, Manafort lawyers