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U.S. Department of Justice
Those contacts included matters pertaining to the criminal charges brought by the Office,959 and the Ukraine peace plan. In early 2018, Manafort retained his longtime polling firm to craft a draft poll in Ukraine, sent the pollsters a three-page primer on the plan sent by Kilimnik, and worked with Kilimnik to formulate the polling questions.960 The primer sent to the pollsters specifically called for the United States and President Trump to support the Autonomous Republic of Donbas with Yanukovych as Prime Minister,961 and a series of questions in the draft poll asked for opinions on Yanukovych' s role in resolving the conflict in Donbas.962 (The poll was not solely about Donbas; it also sought participants' views on leaders apart from Yanukovych as they pertained to the 2019 Ukraine presidential election.)
The Office has not uncovered evidence that Manafort brought the Ukraine peace plan to the attention of the Trump Campaign or the Trump Administration. Kilimnik continued his efforts to promote the peace plan to the Executive Branch (e.g., U.S. Department of State) into the summer of 2018.963
B. Post-Election and Transition-Period Contacts
Trump was elected President on November 8, 2016. Beginning immediately after the election, individuals connected to the Russian government started contacting officials on the Trump Campaign and Transition Team through multiple channels-sometimes through Russian Ambassador Kislyak and at other times through individuals who sought reliable contacts through U.S. persons not formally tied to the Campaign or Transition Team. The most senior levels of the Russian government encouraged these efforts. The investigation did not establish that these efforts reflected or constituted coordination between the Trump Campaign and Russia in its election interference activities.
1. Immediate Post-Election Activity
As soon as news broke that Trump had been elected President, Russian government officials and prominent Russian businessmen began trying to make inroads into the new Administration. They appeared not to have preexisting contacts and struggled to connect with senior officials around the President-Elect. As explained below, those efforts entailed both official contact through the Russian Embassy in the United States and outreaches-sanctioned at high levels of the Russian government-through business rather than political contacts.
959 Manafort (D.D.C.) Gov't Opp. to Mot. to Modify, at 2; Superseding Indictment ,r,r 48-51,
United States v. Paul J Manafort, Jr., 1: 17-cr-201 (D.D.C. June 8, 2018), Doc. 318.
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|Viktor Yanukovych||Donald Trump||Anthony Fabrizio||Sergey Kislyak||Paul Manafort||Konstantin Kilimnik|
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