Avril Haines Committed to Reviewing Past Redactions of Intelligence on Russia’s Support for Trump

In the wake of the confirmation that Konstantin Kilimnik did, in fact, share campaign data with Russian Intelligence, some people are asking whether Trump withheld information confirming that fact from Mueller or SSCI.

There are other possible explanations. After all, DOJ stated publicly in 2019 they were still working on decrypting communications involving Manafort and Kilimnik. There are likely new sources of information that have become available to the government.

It’s also certain that the government did share some information with SSCI that was not publicly released in its report last year. Indeed, we’re still waiting on information in the SSCI Report that probably will be made public.

Ron Wyden complained about the overclassification of the report when it came out, and — in his typical fashion — provided bread crumbs of what we might learn with further declassification.

(U) The report includes new revelations directly related to the Trump campaign’s cooperation with Russian efforts to get Donald Trump elected. Yet significant information remains redacted. One example among many is the report’s findings with regard to the relationship between Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and Russian intelligence officer Konstantin Kilimnik.

(U) The report includes significant information demonstrating that Paul Manafort’s support for Russia and pro-Russian factions in Ukraine was deeper than previously known. The report also details extremely troubling information about the extent and nature of Manafort’s connection with Kilimnik and Manafort’s passage of campaign polling data to Kilimnik. Most troubling of all are indications that Kilimnik, and Manafort himself, were connected to Russia’s hack-and-leak operations.

(U) Unfortunately, significant aspects of this story remain hidden from the American public. Information related to Manafort’s interactions with Kilimnik, particularly in April 2016, are the subject of extensive redactions. Evidence connecting Kilimnik to the GRU’s hack-and-leak operations are likewise redacted, as are indications of Manafort’s own connections to those operations. There are redactions to important new information with regard to Manafort’s meeting in Madrid with a representative of Oleg Deripaska. The report also includes extensive information on Deripaska, a proxy for Russian intelligence and an associate of Manafort. Unfortunately, much of that information is redacted as well.

(U) The report is of urgent concern to the American people, in part due to its relevance to the 2020 election and Russia’s ongoing influence activities. The public version of the report details how Kilimnik disseminated propaganda claiming Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election, beginning even before that election and continuing into late 2019. [one sentence redacted] And the report includes information on the role of other Russian government proxies and personas in spreading false narratives about Ukrainian interference in the U.S. election. This propaganda, pushed by a Russian intelligence officer and other Russian proxies, was the basis on which Donald Trump sought to extort the current government of Ukraine into providing assistance to his reelection efforts and was at the center of Trump’s impeachment and Senate trial. That is one of the reasons why the extensive redactions in this section of the report are so deeply problematic. Only when the American people are informed about the role of an adversary in concocting and disseminating disinformation can they make democratic choices free of foreign interference.

Redactions suggest there was more to an April exchange of information between Kilimnik and Manafort involving Oleg Deripaska than has been made public, describing something else that happened almost simultaneously with that exchange. SSCI learned about that even without obtaining information from Manafort’s email server, which Kilimnik was using long after he stopped working for Manafort and which they subpoenaed unsuccessfully, but Mueller did obtain it.

There’s also a very long redacted passage in the more general Additional Views from Democrats on the committee that laid out the significance of the SSCI findings for the 2020 election (ostensibly what yesterday’s sanctions addressed).

Also in typical Wyden fashion, he already took steps to liberate such information as could be released. In his Questions for the Record for both Avril Haines and William Burns, Wyden asked that this information be declassified. He also asked that more information behind Treasury’s sanctions imposed on Andrii Derkach last September be declassified. Haines committed to ordering a new declassification review of both.

QUESTION 150: If confirmed, will you review the Committee’s Report on Russian Active Measures Campaigns and Interference in the 2016 U.S. Election, in particular Volume 5, for additional declassification?

Yes, if confirmed, I will order a review of the Committee’s report to determine whether additional declassification is possible consistent with the need to protect national security.

QUESTION 151: If confirmed, will you review intelligence related to foreign interference in the 2020 U.S. election, including with regard to Russian agents referenced in the Treasury Department’s September 10, 2020, sanctions announcement, for additional declassification and public release?

Yes, if confirmed I will order a review of these materials to determine whether additional declassification is possible consistent with the need to protect national security.

So we should be getting a newly declassified version of the SSCI Report that will reveal what the Trump Administration did share, but buried under redactions.

Which will also reveal what Trump knew about Manafort’s affirmative ties to Russian intelligence when he pardoned Manafort to pay off Manafort’s silence about all that during the Mueller investigation.

36 replies
  1. Buford says:

    is there any good reason not to have an unredacted version of the Mueller findings? and is that the Oleg that is Moscow Mitch’s best buddy?

    • subtropolis says:

      Oleg Deripaska is the oligarch involved with the Kentucky aluminum plant. (In that, certain sanctions against him were dropped, and he had to sell off a portion of his interest in the company in order for the deal to go through.)

      But it is another Oleg — Oleg Smolenkov — who I believe will be found to be at the heart of much of the redacted material concerning Kilimnik. He was the Kremlin functionary who’d been spying for CIA, and who’d been exfiltrated in June 2017 due to concerns that he would soon be uncovered.

      It’s not uncommon for such a prize, even after their cover has been blown, to be kept tightly under wraps. I believe that this status — nefariously or otherwise — was the reason that Mueller could not include his confirmation of Kilimnik being a Russian agent. (Though, I t’s possible that Mueller never knew his identity, if he even knew about his Intelligence.)

      Barr was correct, in his not-a-summary summary: Mueller did not FIND that associates of the campaign were playing footsy with the Russians. He could not ESTABLISH that the campaign had colluded. He could not CONCLUDE that such had happened. To find; to establish; to conclude: All of these can mean simply that Mueller was denied the possibility of including that information because it was off-limits. Without the possibility of using the source of the information in his report, he had no alternative but to leave it out. Thus, it was not one of the findings; it had not been established. Barr got to play cute word games, and how he must have enjoyed it.

      Note that it was the Treasury Department, not DoJ, which made that bold assertion on Thursday. The very first thing that jumped out at me was the fact that there was no information at all to back up the charge. Because Treasury is not bound to providing any proof in the way that a Justice would be in announcing an indictment. I believe that Biden gave them the go-ahead to come right out and directly accuse Kilimnik. Whether we’ll soon be seeing more about that, though, is anybody’s guess.

      • Buford says:

        thank you, It is difficult to keep some of this straight…I find this site very, I mean very helpful in understanding some of the complexity of the insurrection…and of the election rigging…

  2. harpie says:

    ew: There are other possible explanations. After all, DOJ stated publicly in 2019 they were still working on decrypting communications involving Manafort and Kilimnik.

    Was that BDTS DoJ or [more likely] Billy Barr DOJ?
    In either case, I take anything either of these entities “stated” with a mountain of salt.

  3. harpie says:

    From the annotated screenshot: “The elusive DMP server”
    …Do we have any idea what the acronym stands for?
    When I read it, I think DUMP.

    • WilliamOckham says:

      I believe it originally stood for Davis Manafort Partners. Rick Davis and Manafort had a law firm Davis, Manafort. DMP International was the overseas lobbying arm. I don’t know if Davis was actually involved in DMP.

    • Dutch Louis says:

      My guess: DMP is DMP International LLC, where Paul Manafort was director from 03-30-2012 until 12-31-2018 and NRAI Services Inc during the samed period acted as agent. According to their website (nraiservices.com) NRAI Services are offering a full range of document filing, retrieval, and search services in all 50 states: “We provide our clients the necessary tools and resources they need to do their business.”

    • harpie says:

      Oh, yes! Thank you, ALL.

      Roger STONE has been linked up with Davis and Manafort in various
      …ventures [shall we say?] … at various times over decades.

      And, it still sounds like DUMP to me.

  4. harpie says:

    Also, Wendy Siegelman on this:

    12:39 AM · Apr 16, 2021

    With renewed focus on Kilimnik sharing polling data from Manafort and Gates with Russian intelligence – reminder of @imthemadridista scoop that in 2015 Kilimnik set up a company with Cambridge Analytica contractor Sam Patten [link]

    Kilimnik worked for Sam Patten in Russia from 2001-2003 before Kilimnik went to work for Manafort [link] [THREAD]

  5. Rugger9 says:

    It is pretty easy to see why DJT was so desperate to stay in office and why the GOP did so much to enable that dream. That outcome was the only option which would guarantee none of these revelations would see the light of day. As noted on prior threads, the entire GOP leadership is up to their eyeballs in Russian intrigues and if DJT goes down he will have company if he can help it.

    The other question is what Putin will do. He’s under some pressure at home over Navalny (FWIW I’m surprised Navalny’s still alive) and their lagging economy which is one reason Putin is trying to re-create the Soviet Union starting with Ukraine. Nothing distracts like military success, but Putin also should remember the lesson of Nicholas II that nothing weakens a regime like military setbacks (and he can look to Afghanistan as a more recent example). Putin’s options are to defy Biden or to try and engage Biden.

    Biden is leaving the engagement door open for now, but the expulsion of some more Russian “diplomats” is bog-standard Cold War signaling that Biden’s not going to be a lap dog like DJT was. The Ukraine activities will be informative about which road Putin will take. I think Vlad doubles down since in his core he sees us as a prime adversary, and invades the Ukraine or the Baltics to see what we and the rest of NATO will do.

    • Raven Eye says:

      IIRC one of Putin’s responses was the time-worn reminder that Russia is a nuclear power. To some extent that’s a tell as to what he’s NOT actually worried about. Putin is worried about other responses that are available and which might be applied in a more subtle and/or measured ways. However, they would be in a new frontier of weaponization that we understand very little about.

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      I agree completely that Putin is gearing up for a ‘push the envelope’ military move to test what Biden’s limits will be.

    • Norskeflamthrower says:

      “I think Vlad doubles down since in his core he sees us as a prime adversary…”

      Yep, and when he moves on Ukraine the Republican Party is toast. Biden is doin’ everything as though he’s beeen doin’ it for years and he hasn’t even raised his voice. Boy did I misunderestimate him!

      • Peterr says:

        From 1975 to 2009, he served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, including chairing the committee from 2001-03 and 2007-09 until he became VP for 8 years.

        That’s a lot of years he’s been doing the foreign policy thing.

        • Norskeflamthrower says:

          “That’s a lotta years he’s been doin’ the foreign policy thing.” Yeah, but now he’s doin’ it right.

          • rip says:

            But there hasn’t been a republican in recent memory who has done any foreign policy thing right. Maybe excepting the oft quoted Nixon’s opening to China.

            Republicans don’t know how to lead from the front. They are rear-guard attacker specialists, however.

    • drouse says:

      I find it encouraging that we managed to get the NATO leadership to openly take the position of looking unkindly on Russian adventurism in Ukraine. Not that it probably took much.Which puts Turkey somewhat in a bind . Putin has really been wooing Erdogan but Turkey is still a NATO member. Plus, it controls the only way to get ships into the Black Sea. Still it’s good to know that our alliances have withstood the recent stresses. It’s also good to remind Putin that it’s not just us he has to deal with.

      • Wajim says:

        “[Erdogan] . . . controls the only way to get ships into the Black Sea”

        Well, yes, and no, due to international treaties negotiated long ago. That’s prob why he’s proposing a Turkish-controlled commercial/military ship canal through centra/eastern Turkey, to bypass the Bosphorus

        • Rugger9 says:

          That would be the Montreux Convention on the Straits, which permits mostly free passage of Russian ships as a nation with a Black Sea coastline. However, if Turkey wanted to shut passages off the Russians would probably not be able to force their way through. Turkey also shares a border and has pretensions in Syria and Kurdistan the Russians would (potentially) oppose. Syria is still Moscow’s ally in the region and the Russian have a naval base at Tarsus.

  6. CCM says:

    How much of this is really new? Manafort was known to give Kilimnik polling data, this was in the Mueller report. Of course Killimik gave the data to those who best knew how to use it, i.e. Russian intelligence. They probably used it focus messaging to particular demographics and geographic areas. Manafort may be many things but he certainly knows the value of polling data and good data vs bad. The Russians had him over a barrel. He knows like the rest of the world Russian oligarchs enjoy a good assassination. He is not going to give them useless data and try to play them, Russian intelligence is known to have deep knowledge of the American political system and the statistics of polling data is straightforward. This was and is a conspiracy.

    • Rugger9 says:

      It was suspected, but not fully documented in a way that can stand up in court until now. That means trouble for Manafort.

      • subtropolis says:

        Yes, we all were confident that Kilimnik is a Russian agent. What’s new is that the US government has finally affirmatively accused him of passing the data to Russia.

        Although, you’re only partially correct. Note that Treasury’s statement does not back up the charge. This was not a DoJ indictment, which would have included something that backed up the charge. There is more going on behind the scenes. (Please see my longer comment upthread.) It’s not so clear that we’re at the point where things could stand up in court, but the future is looking brighter. And, yes, not so good for Manafort.

  7. Molly Pitcher says:

    From the NYT just now:


    Russia will expel 10 U.S. diplomats and ban some American officials from the country after the White House’s new sanctions, a Kremlin official said.
    Friday, April 16, 2021 1:06 PM EST

    Russia’s foreign minister said other measures would be announced later.

    But the Kremlin’s limiting of the initial response to just diplomatic expulsions suggested the Russian government did not intend to an escalation that could worsen already dismal relations between the countries.

    • John Lehman says:

      Hopefully these are maneuverings for a serious US / Russian diplomatic discussions rather then a…
      “Putin Puppet Show Featuring DJT”
      We’ve had enough of those.

      • rip says:

        Lovely image of a not so Howdy Doody (trump) riding on a Buffalo Bob (Putin)’s hand up his ass.

      • timbo says:

        I should rehabilitate my old AH copy of Kremlin, sentenced to some dark corner of the crawlspace currently I should imagine…

  8. Eureka says:

    […] but Mueller did obtain it.

    Two days (or 36 hours-ish) to the 2nd-year Mueller Reportaversary, folks.

    Cheers to many more insights and revelations, if via different channels.

  9. mospeck says:

    Sure looks like it’s getting very near the end for Navalny. sry bmaz, now I get it. IANAL, but finally get that Rip saying nuke the site from orbit would be out of bounds unlawful. Sanctions are the right and proper, slow and measured, course to help the Russian people. But can we in the US at least do something for Yulia and the kids? Say like a west Texas fireworks show right on top of vlad’s dacha? a half a kiloton only.. to honor 1917?
    Alexei will be pushing off to the next, allegedly better, world v shortly looks like.

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