Mueller prosecutor says there are new revelations in Senate Russia report
Andrew Weissmann, one of the lead prosecutors on special counsel Robert Mueller's team and the architect of the case against Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, said there is "definitely new information" in the final volume of the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on 2016 Russian interference released Tuesday.
Why it matters: It underscores the degree to which the 996-page report goes further than the Mueller investigation in some of its findings, as well as the explosive nature of some of the revelations about Manafort and other top Trump campaign officials.
What's new: The bipartisan Senate report describes Manafort's right-hand man Konstantin Kilimnik as a Russian intelligence officer. "That is much further than he was described publicly by the special counsel's office," Weissmann points out.
- The committee, like Mueller, found that Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates passed sensitive internal campaign data and strategy to Kilimnik, but it could not determine with whom Kilimnik went on to share it or why he shared it.
- The report also found that there was some evidence to suggest that Kilimnik was involved in the Russian operation to hack and leak Democratic emails — which Weissmann described as "substantial new information." The section detailing that evidence is largely redacted.
Weissmann went on to note that the Senate report assesses that then-candidate Trump spoke with Roger Stone about WikiLeaks' plans to release damaging information about Hillary Clinton on "multiple occasions" — despite Trump's claims in written answers to Mueller that he "did not recall" discussing the topic with Stone.
- "I'd say the report elegantly tries not to use the phrase 'lie,' but it comes darn close," Weissmann said.
- "So it leaves it to you to decide, do you really think you would forget that? Given how important that information became to the campaign in terms of it dribbling out throughout October?"
Between the lines: Weissmann addressed criticism circulating on social media on Tuesday that argued that Mueller failed to uncover damaging information about Trump revealed in the Senate's report and thus "enabled" Trump's future behavior.
- "Our job was not to stop him," Weissmann said. "Our job was to uncover the facts and apply the law to that. But I think that for a variety of reasons you could say there was a failure on the part of the special counsel's office and on the part of Congress in terms of how hard we would dig for information."
- "And also, I think Congress can rightly be upbraided about what they did with the report once they had it because the facts were, or at least many facts were laid out to them that they could have taken action on."
Go deeper: More findings from the Senate report