Monday, 19 November, 2018

Paul Manafort: Trump's ex-chair hit with new obstruction of justice charges

Paul Manafort appears to be running out of ways to combat a key charge in the Mueller probe Prosecutors Expand Manafort Charges, Add New Russian Defendant In His Case
Ellis Copeland | 09 June, 2018, 02:17

Mueller is accusing Manafort and Kilimnik of "knowingly and intentionally" attempting "to corruptly persuade another person.with intent to influence, delay and prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding" from about February 23, 2018 to April 2018 in Washington D.C. As CBS News' Jeff Pegues puts it, the two are accused essentially of witness-coaching or tampering with witnesses.

Kilimnik is, according to CNN, "a close business colleague of Manafort's who prosecutors have said has close ties to Russian intelligence".

Mr Manafort is also charged with money laundering, illegal foreign lobbying, and lying to federal officials.

An Atlantic profile earlier this week portrays Kilimnik as Manafort's long-time "aide-de-camp" in Eastern Europe.

Manafort chaired Trump's presidential campaign and oversaw his delegate operation in the weeks leading up to the Republican National Convention. In a previous indictment, Mueller's team said Kilimnik-named as "Person A"-was a former officer of the Russia's military intelligence wing, the GRU".

Court papers show the witnesses told investigators they believed Manafort and Kilimnik were trying to get them to lie about their work with a group of former European politicians known as the Hapsburg group.

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Special counsel Robert Mueller secured a grand jury indictment of Konstantin Kilimnik, Paul Manafort's longtime business deputy who was deeply involved in his Ukraine lobbying work.

The new charges are related to the accusation that Manafort hired a firm of former European officials to illegally lobby in the USA on issues related to Ukraine.

It was the third time Mueller had added to charges against Manafort. He has said he met with Kilimnik in person in May 2016 and again in August 2016 in New York City, about two weeks before Manafort resigned as Trump's campaign chairman. And then, in the wake of that, he's got to go and do something that's incredibly stupid, reach out to potential witnesses, knowing that he's being assessed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and try to persuade them to say he's not guilty. Those charges remain unchanged int he new indictment.

Kliminik has denied any ties to Russian intelligence, telling The Washington Post that he has "no relation to the Russian or any other intelligence service".

But beyond the direct effects this indictment will have on Manafort, Mariotti argued that it had wider implications for the Russian Federation investigation as a whole.

This has not escaped the attention of Judge T.S. Ellis, who is presiding over Mueller's case against Manafort in a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia.

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