Key Russia-linked player in Mueller probe reportedly a State Dept intel source, but not disclosed in report

(File Photo: screenshot)

In another eyebrow-raising and embarrassing development in the findings of the Mueller report, the special counsel reportedly omitted an important detail about a key figure linked to Russia.

As Mueller’s conclusions on the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election increasingly come under the microscope, questions continue to be raised about the accuracy of the report in light of the latest bombshell.

(File Photo: screenshot)

While Ukrainian businessman Konstantin Kilimnik was portrayed by Mueller as someone tied to Russian intelligence, the special counsel apparently left out key information that revealed he was a State Department informant, according to John Solomon in a piece published by The Hill.

Kilimnik, who worked for Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, was described as a “sensitive” intelligence source for the U.S. State Department in government documents which were in Mueller’s possession since last year.

According to Solomon:

The incomplete portrayal of Kilimnik is so important to Mueller’s overall narrative that it is raised in the opening of his report. “The FBI assesses” Kilimnik “to have ties to Russian intelligence,” Mueller’s team wrote on Page 6, putting a sinister light on every contact Kilimnik had with Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman.

What it doesn’t state is that Kilimnik was a “sensitive” intelligence source for State going back to at least 2013 while he was still working for Manafort, according to FBI and State Department memos I reviewed.

 

And Kilimnik was “not just any run-of-the-mill source,” Solomon contended.

Long before Mueller concluded his investigation, the FBI was already aware that Kilimnik “interacted with the chief political officer at the U.S. Embassy in Kiev,” providing information on the Ukraine government sometimes multiple times a week. Documents also revealed that he “relayed messages back to Ukraine’s leaders and delivered written reports to U.S. officials via emails that stretched on for thousands of words,” according to Solomon.

In fact, Kilimnik was such a valuable source that there were fears about him being compromised in leaks, as Alan Purcell, the chief political officer at the Kiev embassy from 2014 to 2017, explained to FBI agents.

“Purcell described what he considered an unusual level of discretion that was taken with handling Kilimnik,” one FBI interview report stated, according to Solomon.

“Normally the head of the political section would not handle sources, but Kasanof informed Purcell that KILIMNIK was a sensitive source,” the report continued, referring to senior embassy official Alexander Kasanof.

Solomon noted:

Three sources with direct knowledge of the inner workings of Mueller’s office confirmed to me that the special prosecutor’s team had all of the FBI interviews with State officials, as well as Kilimnik’s intelligence reports to the U.S. Embassy, well before they portrayed him as a Russian sympathizer tied to Moscow intelligence or charged Kilimnik with participating with Manafort in a scheme to obstruct the Russia investigation.

 

Solomon added that he reviewed “scores” of State Department emails which “raise further doubt about the Mueller report’s portrayal of Kilimnik as a Russian agent,” as he “wasn’t flagged in visa databases as a foreign intelligence threat” when he traveled to the U.S. and met with State officials.

Many other key details make the omission of information by Mueller more glaring, as Solomon pointed out, including Mueller’s allegation that Kilimnik and Manafort conspired in a “backdoor” deal with Russia. But Mueller’s report left out the detail that Kilimnik presented the plan to the Obama administration as well.

Kilimnik blasted Mueller and his “made-up narrative” in an email to The Washington Post in April.

“I have no ties to Russian or, for that matter, any intelligence operation,” he wrote. “This is one of the biggest mistakes in the public perception and in the report. It is simply not based on any facts and is a made-up narrative.”

“Yet, omitting his extensive, trusted assistance to the State Department seems inexplicable,” Solomon wrote. “If Mueller’s team can cast such a misleading portrayal of Kilimnik, however, it begs the question of what else might be incorrect or omitted in the report.”

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows slammed the “multiple omissions, multiple misrepresentations” in the special counsel’s report in an appearance on Fox News’ “Hannity” Thursday.

Citing Solomon’s reporting, Meadows noted that “the deeper we dive the more problems we find” with Mueller’s final report.

“A few more such errors and omissions, and Americans may begin to wonder if the Mueller report is worth the paper on which it was printed,” Solomon concluded.

Frieda Powers

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