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Mueller's office in closed hearing says Manafort meeting with Kilimnik at 'heart' of investigation



Mueller prosecutor Andrew Weissmann had a federal judge Monday that had a meeting with Manafort and Kilimnik in August 2016 "of significance to the special counsel." A redacted version of the transcript was released on Thursday.

At the meeting, Ukrainian policy – and it appears according to previous filings, a peace plan that would have benefited Russia – came up. Manafort in interviews with the special counsel said the discussion with Kilimnik about the topic ended then

But, prosecutors say, Manafort with with Kilimnik several times throughout 2017 and even into 2018, and discussed Ukrainian policy again and again.

"This goes, I think, very much to the heart of what the special counsel's office is investigating," Weissmann said at the hearing. "There is an in-person meeting at an unusual time for somebody who is the campaign chairman to be spending time, and to be doing it in person."

Weissmann also noted that at the August 201

6 meeting of Kilimnik, Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates took pains to leave separately – at a time when contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia were of utmost interest.

Manafort had long worked read: Transcript or closed-by Manafort hearing ” data-src-mini=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181130171446-paul-manafort-small-169.jpg” data-src-xsmall=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181130171446-paul-manafort-medium-plus-169.jpg” data-src-small=”http://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181130171446-paul-manafort-large-169.jpg” data-src-medium=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181130171446-paul-manafort-exlarge-169.jpg” data-src-large=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181130171446-paul-manafort-super-169.jpg” data-src-full16x9=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181130171446-paul-manafort-full-169.jpg” data-src-mini1x1=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181130171446-paul-manafort-small-11.jpg” data-demand-load=”not-loaded” data-eq-pts=”mini: 0, xsmall: 221, small: 308, medium: 461, large: 781″ src=”data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhEAAJAJEAAAAAAP///////wAAACH5BAEAAAIALAAAAAAQAAkAAAIKlI+py+0Po5yUFQA7″/>

The meeting is, or is of interest, to the prosecutors that Manafort testified about it before a federal grand jury late last year. No apparent criminal cases have been made public yet related to the topic.


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