Published: Sat, June 09, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Mueller files new charges against Manafort and associate in Russian Federation probe

Mueller files new charges against Manafort and associate in Russian Federation probe

The motion, released Friday, criticized Mueller's allegations that Manafort - a former campaign manager for President Donald Trump - had tampered with witness evidence, calling them a "dubious" plot meant to "corruptly persuade" Manafort's former business associates to "perjure themselves at the upcoming trial in September".

Known for his smaller physical stature, Kilimnik was identified as "Person A" in a previous filing by Mueller's office and served as a "fixer" for Manafort while he worked for his firm, The New York Times reported in April.

The indictment was unsealed Friday against Paul Manafort and Konstantin Kilimnik just days after prosecutors accused the two men of attempting to tamper with witnesses as Manafort awaits trial on charges related to his foreign lobbying work.

The latest charges allege that he used offshore accounts to pay former senior European politicians who are allies of Ukraine. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges. The Special Counsel has not provided Mr. Manafort with its witness list.

In the case of D2, a Manafort associate reached out to say Mr. Manafort was looking to share with the witness his own version of "what's going on".

As additional criminal charges, they pose additional threat to Manafort and would extend his jail sentence if convicted - rather than simply affecting the conditions of his bail.

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Manafort, who was chairman of Trump's campaign for several months in 2016, has been charged with multiple counts of tax evasion, money laundering and bank fraud.

The alleged cover-up stems from work Manafort, Kilimnik and others did with former European politicians referred to informally as the "Hapsburg group", to advocate on Ukraine's behalf to US and European officials. Manafort accused Mueller of a "not too-subtle attempt to poison the potential jury pool".

Person D1 subsequently contacted Mueller's office and said they believed Manafort's messages were part of an effort to "suborn perjury", or coax them into giving false testimony, because they knew the group worked in both Europe and the US.

Perhaps more important is that an alleged line from the Russian government to the Trump campaign could be getting clearer.

The witnesses that Kilimnik and Manafort approached were involved in Manafort's alleged lobbying campaign on behalf of Ukrainian's government.

Emails show that during the middle of the campaign, Manafort told Kilimnik he was willing to provide "private briefings" about Trump's presidential run to a billionaire close to Russian President Vladimir Putin. It's not clear exactly what Manafort knows, but he does appear to be a linchpin between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation.

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