By Chuck Ross
The chief strategist of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign is cooperating with the special counsel’s prosecution of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
The special counsel’s office asked Tad Devine, who also consulted for Al Gore and John Kerry’s presidential campaigns, to assist an investigation into Manafort’s work for a Ukrainian political party that supported former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych.
“The Special Counsel has asked Tad Devine to assist in the prosecution of their case against Paul Manafort regarding his firm’s work on media consulting on past political campaigns in Ukraine,” Julian Mulvey, a partner at Devine’s political firm, Devine Mulvey Longabaugh, said in a statement first reported by BuzzFeed News.
“When the Special Counsel sought assistance from us in its ongoing investigation, we readily provided it,” Mulvey continued.
Manafort has been indicted in both Virginia and Washington, D.C. over his Ukraine work. The Virginia case, which is scheduled to go to trial on July 31, deals with alleged money laundering and tax evasion. Manafort has been indicted in Washington on conspiracy charges and for working as an unregistered foreign agent.
Manafort belatedly registered with the Justice Department as a foreign agent of Ukraine on June 27, 2017. He worked for Yanukovych from 2006 through 2014. Devine has not registered with the Justice Department.
Last week, prosecutors with the special counsel’s office released a list of 500 pieces of evidence they plan to present in the Manafort trials. Included on the list are 16 emails that Devine exchanged between 2006 and 2014 with Manafort and Manafort’s former business partners, Rick Gates and Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian Ukrainian business associate of Manafort’s who is alleged to have ties to Russia’s military intelligence unit.
Gates, who joined Manafort on the Trump campaign, was indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller along with Manafort but has since struck a plea deal.
The emails appear to deal with media strategy and other Yanukovych campaign strategy.
Devine has been told by the special counsel’s office that he has “no legal exposure and did not act unlawfully,” according to Mulvey, his business partner.
There is no indication that the investigation of Manafort deals with any of his work on the Trump campaign. Mueller’s prosecutors have revealed that they have no plans to present evidence of any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government.
Mueller was appointed special counsel on May 17, 2017 to take over the FBI’s investigation into alleged Trump campaign collusion.
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