In the newly released cache of evidence against Paul Manafort by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the Russia meddling probe, the name of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) aide Tad Devine has appeared multiple times. Manafort, former Trump campaign chairman, is charged with lobbying on behalf of the Ukraine’s pro-Russia government. Manafort never registered as a foreign agent with Washington, D.C., which was the initial red flag that tipped off investigators about his activities related to the Russia meddling investigation. He is also charged with multiple counts of bank fraud, money laundering, and witness tampering.
Tad Devine served as Sanders’ chief strategist during his 2016 presidential bid but began working in service to the senator in November of 2014. Devine and Manafort have history, as they worked together on the campaign of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, according to Politico, and campaigns in the U.S. during the 90s as reported by Raw Story. They further reported that Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver had asked Devine to get in touch with Manafort to help set up a debate between their candidates. PJ Media reported that in the newly released Mueller evidence, Devine’s name first appears on exhibit 5, and 20 more times after that, linking him not only to Manafort but Konstantin Kilimnik, who has been identified as a Putin-connected operative and very close associate of Manafort, according to The National Review.
As was pointed out by The Hoarse Whisperer on Twitter, the dots can be connected between Sanders, Trump, and Russia through Devine and Manafort.
“Adding to this as I process it… Mueller’s evidence in a criminal trial includes communications between Tad Devine, Paul Manafort and a Russian connected to Putin up through JUNE OF 2014. In NOVEMBER OF 2014, Devine joined Bernie’s campaign.”
For Sen. Sanders, who is rumored to be eyeing another run for president in 2020, this is likely attention he does not want. There will be questions regarding if he knew Devine had ties to Russia, and if so, when? Was his campaign in contact with Putin? Was he colluding with the Kremlin to help promote Trump? Was there some kind of agreement that Trump and Sanders not attack each other during their campaigns? Sen. Sanders has not commented on the record to any outlets at this time.
There are also emails between Devine and Rick Gates, Manafort’s business associate, regarding lobbying they did in Ukraine, as reported by Politico. Devine has not commented on the release of evidence containing his name at this time. Manafort is not available for comment.
The last submission on the evidence docket reads, “the government further respectfully requests leave of the Court to file additional exhibits if necessary,” indicating there may still be more to come.