Mueller: Gates associate had Russian spy links

Mueller: Gates associate had Russian spy links

Mueller: Gates associate had Russian spy links

Prosecutors investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election say they have directly linked a former Moscow intelligence officer to a one-time top political aide to Donald Trump during his successful run for the White House.

The court document says Gates had frequent phone calls in September and October 2016 - weeks before the November election - with the Russian man, who the document says the Federal Bureau of Investigation believes had active links to Russian spy services at the time.

"He's playing chess, and moving that piece now suggests that no matter what Trump is saying about no collusion, that part of the investigation is still very much alive". While more ties between the Russians and Trump's campaign are revealed, one question is still in the minds of the American people: "What did the President know, and when did he know it?"

Gates pleaded guilty last month to lying to the FBI and conspiring to defraud the United States, and he is now cooperating with Mueller's investigation into ties between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign. An attorney for Gates did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Manafort has pleaded not guilty to charges in two indictments, some of which relate to his work for the pro-Russian government of Yanukovych, who was ousted by street protests and fled to Russia in 2014.

His mentor, Manafort, has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy, money laundering, and tax and bank fraud linked to his lobbying efforts for Ukraine that predate Trump's run for the usa presidency.

Mueller has charged both Gates and Manafort with alleged crimes unrelated to their connections with an alleged former Russian intelligence operative.

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A spokesman for Manafort, who is prevented by a court-imposed gag order from talking to the media, declined to comment. Gates has since pleaded guilty to a "fraction" of the charges he could have faced and is likely a "treasure trove" of information for Mueller, the judge explained. The presidential election was in November 2016.

The document which contains this revelation is a sentencing memo for Dutch lawyer Alex van der Zwaan, who pleaded guilty to making false statements to the special counsel about his relationships with Gates, Manafort, and their Russian-connected business associate (which the document dubs as "Person A"). These payments to van der Zwaan's firm came from a Ukrainian oligarch and were funneled through the web of accounts that Gates and Manafort created to launder money.

Kilimnik has denied having ties to Russian intelligence services and both Trump and Russia have denied any collusion to help Trump win the election.

It said an investigation by Ukrainian prosecutors into Kilimnik's possible links to Russian spy agencies was closed late past year without charges. However, Kilimnik's involvement with Manafort and Gates was known since at least early 2017, when he gave an interview to Radio Free Europe, an outlet funded by the USA government.

In July 2016 Manafort, then chairman of Trump's presidential campaign, emailed Kilimnik asking him to offer Deripaska "private briefings" about the campaign, according to the Washington Post. It also says that Kilimnik worked for 10 years in the Moscow office of the International Republican Institute, a USA government-funded nonprofit.

The lawsuit claims that Kilimnik graduated from the Military Institute of the Defense Ministry in Moscow.

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