Manafort Was Source Of Ukraine Conspiracy Claims

The New York Times reports:

Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, spread a conspiracy theory now at the center of the impeachment investigation — that Ukraine, not Russia, hacked the Democratic National Committee — as early as five months before the 2016 election, according to newly released documents from the special counsel’s investigation.

Mr. Manafort told his deputy on the campaign about the theory shortly after emails stolen from the Democrats were published in June 2016, and questions arose about whether Russia hacked the emails to help the Trump campaign, according to the documents.

The documents have no information about when Mr. Trump embraced the conspiracy theory, which he later asked Ukraine’s president to investigate in a July 25 phone call even as he was withholding military aid for the country. Those revelations helped touch off the impeachment inquiry.

Buzzfeed News reports:

In response to a court order, the Justice Department released the first installment of documents: hundreds of pages of summaries of FBI interviews with witnesses, available here for the first time. Another installment will be released every month for at least the next eight years.

The documents revealed Saturday, known as “302 reports,” are summaries of interviews with former White House official and Trump campaign manager Stephen Bannon, Cohen, Gates, and more. They are some of the most important and highly sought-after documents from Mueller’s investigation.

They reveal what key players in the campaign told FBI agents about Russia, Trump, the email hack during the 2016 presidential campaign, and Trump’s associates’ handling of the special counsel’s investigation.