Kilimnik was a key-but-mysterious figure in Mueller’s investigation into potential coordination between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign. A business associate of Manafort’s who worked closely with him, even managing his firm’s office in Kyiv, Kilimnik is mentioned by name 156 times in the Mueller report. He was also indicted alongside Manafort on witness tampering allegations but has not appeared in the U.S. to face those charges. The FBI has issued a $250,000 award for information leading to his arrest.
A key episode examined by Mueller involved Manafort's decision to share campaign polling data with Kilimnik — something prosecutors say Manafort lied about when questioned. Investigators scrutinized a series of secretive encounters between the men, including one in August 2016 at the Grand Havana Club in New York.
There, according to statements provided by Mueller, Manafort briefed Kilimnik on internal campaign data and messaging and they discussed battleground states.
The exchange of polling data was an eye-catching data point, especially because it suggested Russia could have exploited such inside information to target influence campaigns aimed at boosting Trump’s election bid in 2016.
But Mueller's team said it couldn't “reliably determine” Manafort's purpose in sharing it, nor assess what Kilimnik may have done with it — in part due to questions over Manafort's credibility. The Senate committee also came up empty, though its report drew attention for its characterization of Kilimnik as a Russian intelligence officer.
It was not clear what new information, if any, led to the Treasury Department’s assessment that Kilimnik had “provided the Russian Intelligence Services with sensitive information on polling and campaign strategy.” A Treasury Department spokesman did not return an email seeking comment.