“This goes, I think, very much to the heart of what the Special Counsel’s Office is investigating,” Weissmann said, according to a redacted transcript of the hearing. He added: “That meeting and what happened at that meeting is of significance to the special counsel.”
The meeting occurred while Manafort was still in a high-ranking role in the Trump campaign. Rick Gates, Manafort’s longtime deputy and also a Trump campaign aide, attended. And prosecutors say the three men left separately so as not to draw attention to their meeting.
Weissmann said investigators were also interested in several other meetings between Kilimnik and Manafort including when Kilimnik travelled to Washington for Mr Trump’s inauguration in January 2017. And Manafort’s attorneys accidentally revealed weeks ago that prosecutors believe Manafort shared polling data with Kilimnik during the 2016 presidential campaign.