Paul Manafort, Konstantin Kilimnik indicted on witness tampering charges

Jun 09, 2018, 21:35
Paul Manafort, Konstantin Kilimnik indicted on witness tampering charges

BREAKING: Fmr. Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been hit with another superseding indictment by Special Counsel Mueller's office.

The office of Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller has indicted Russians before in its Russia investigation, but so far none of them have been extradited to face the charges inside the United States.

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. Four people, including Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, have pleaded guilty.

Allies of Manafort urged him to cut off communication with Kilimnik, also known as "KK", The Times reported. Authorities charge that the conduct of Manafort and Kilimnik amounts to witness tampering, and have asked a judge to revise or revoke Manafort's bail package.

Mr Kilimnik was a longtime employee of Mr Manafort's political-consulting firm, had done extensive lobbying work for him in Ukraine on behalf of the country's then pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych. His trial in Virginia is scheduled to begin in late July. "This made Kilimnik the primary interface for Manafort's lone client, a corrupt clique of former gangsters that ruled Ukraine under the banner of their political organization, the Party of Regions", Foer said.

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.

Paul Manafort, Trump's campaign manager during a crucial portion of the campaign, had already been charged with several counts of money laundering, tax evasion, and failing to register as a foreign agent.

Manafort's lawyers filed a response Friday that "the Special Counsel contrives dubious allegations". "You don't really care about Mr. Manafort's bank fraud".

On Friday, Trump also dismissed any talk of pardoning Manafort or his longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, who is under investigation by federal prosecutors in NY.

Legal experts say Manafort's alleged efforts to convince witnesses to assert that the Hapsburg Group had only been active in Europe would have allowed Manafort to argue he had not violated FARA.

"Conspiracy is. But if Trump's campaign chair conspiring with a suspected Russian operative isn't "collusion, ' what is?" The court document did not name the two witnesses nor did it provide details of the allegation.

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