Gates Communicated with Person Tied to Russian Intelligence While Working for Trump Campaign

The big news in Special Counsel Bob Mueller's investigation today is that Rick Gates, deputy chair of Trump's 2016 campaign, was in communication with a person tied to Russian intelligence while he was working for the campaign.

This, of course, should not be surprising to anyone paying attention, as wheeling and dealing with Vladimir Putin and Russian intelligence was kind of Paul Manafort's and Rick Gates' whole thing, but now we have confirmation.

And, unlike Manafort, Gates continued working for the campaign for its entirety, and then went on to work in the White House in the early part of the administration.

Anyway. The news comes from a report filed by prosecutors about the upcoming sentencing of Dutch attorney Alex van der Zwaan, an associate of Manafort and Gates, and a well-connected lawyer who represents numerous Russian oligarchs and is himself the son of a Russian oligarch named German Khan, who was charged with making false statements regarding his contact with Gates and an unnamed person.

Katelyn Polantz at CNN reports: "That Gates and the unnamed person, who had lived in Kiev and Moscow and worked for one of Paul Manafort's companies, were in touch in September and October 2016 was 'pertinent to the investigation,' a court filing from prosecutors said Tuesday night."

Pertinent because: 1. The unnamed person "had Russian intelligence ties," and 2. The dates show the contacts were made during the campaign, while Gates was working in an official capacity for Donald Trump.

That is a very good question. Especially considering James Comey's justification for organizing a press conference to talk about the details of an "open investigation" of Hillary Clinton's emails.

That was always some rank garbage, but it's impossible to rationalize why it was important for Comey to inform the voting public about the discovery of emails on Anthony Weiner's laptop which turned out to be nothing, but not important for Comey to inform the voting public that high-level members of Trump's campaign were in communication with Russian intelligence agents.

This information has not mattered for a very long time already. I hope that it will matter at some point in the future, and I fear that it won't.

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