Mueller Drops a Clue

This just in:

Paul Manafort shared Trump campaign polling data with an associate tied to Russian intelligence during the 2016 campaign, prosecutors alleged, according to a court filing unsealed on Tuesday.

The accusations came to light in a document filed by Mr. Manafort’s defense lawyers that was supposed to be partly blacked out but contained a formatting error that accidentally revealed the information.

Accidently, you say? Right.

In one portion of the filing that Mr. Manafort’s lawyers tried to redact, they instead also revealed that Mr. Manafort “may have discussed a Ukraine peace plan” with the Russian associate, Konstantin V. Kilimnik, “on more than one occasion.”

Investigators have been questioning witnesses about whether Russia tried to influence the Trump administration to broker a resolution to hostilities between Russia and Ukraine. Various “peace plans” were proposed, including at least one that called for the lifting of American sanctions against Russia. Mr. Manafort and Mr. Kilimnik had worked closely together for years on behalf of Russia-aligned Ukrainian interests.

Prosecutors have also accused Mr. Manafort of misleading them about his contacts with senior administration officials, about a payment from a pro-Trump political action committee made to cover his legal expenses, and about how he and Mr. Kilimnik tried to influence the testimony of witnesses to ward off criminal charges.

Manafort’s lawyers blame a faulty memory.

Meanwhile, remember Natalia V. Veselnitskaya? She was the Russian lawyers with ties to the Kremlin at the infamous Trump Tower meeting? She’s back in the news.

Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who in 2016 met with Trump campaign officials in Trump Tower, was charged on Tuesday in a separate case that showed her close ties to the Kremlin.

Ms. Veselnitskaya, a pivotal figure in the investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election, was charged by federal prosecutors in New York with seeking to thwart an earlier Justice Department investigation into money laundering that involved an influential Russian businessman and his investment firm.

The money-laundering case was not directly related to the Trump Tower meeting. But a federal indictment returned in Manhattan seemed to confirm that Ms. Veselnitskaya had deep ties to senior Russian government officials and rekindled questions about whether the Kremlin tried to use her as an intermediary to Donald J. Trump’s campaign.

Also, too: Let’s all not watch the speech tonight. Boycott! Drive down the ratings! Teach the networks a lesson!

Stuff to read:

Paul Waldman, No one in the Trump administration has any credibility left.

Greg Sargent, The real national emergency is the threat of Trump’s collapse.

Eric Levitz, Why Tucker Carlson Plays a Critic of Capitalism on TV.

Dahlia Lithwick, Why Men Find the New Congresswomen So Frightening

David Atkins, Republicans are Selling Their Future on the Whim of a Tyrant

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