President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort shared polling data related to the 2016 presidential campaign with Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian associate linked to Russian intelligence services, and then lied about it to federal investigators, according to court papers filed Tuesday.
In the court papers filed Tuesday, Manafort’s lawyers also accidentally revealed that Manafort and Kilimnik discussed a “Ukraine peace plan” on more than one occasion.
On Wednesday, Fox News host Shep Smith and Fox News chief judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano agreed that the Tuesday court filing appears to show that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.
“This shows that Bob Mueller can demonstrate to a court without the testimony of Paul Manafort that the campaign had a connection to Russian intelligence and the connection involved information going from the campaign to the Russians,” Napolitano said. “The question is, was this in return for a promise of something from the Russians, and did the candidate, now the president, know about it?”
“Collusion isn’t a crime, but this would be considered collusion?” Smith asked.
“The crime is the conspiracy, the agreement. Collusion is a nonlegal term,” Napolitano reminded Smith.
“I know, but if there’s collusion, giving stuff to the Russians about polling data [would count],” Smith responded.
“Yeah, that would probably fit into the category,” Napolitano agreed. “This event, which has been outlined in these court papers, occurred during the campaign.”
President Trump has repeatedly denied that his presidential campaign colluded with Russian operatives.
“AFTER TWO YEARS AND MILLIONS OF PAGES OF DOCUMENTS (and a cost of over $30,000,000), NO COLLUSION!” Trump tweeted in December.