Mueller slaps Manafort with two new obstruction charges and names conspirator Kilimnik

Mueller slaps Manafort with two new obstruction charges and names conspirator Kilimnik

The new charges were unsealed Friday against Paul Manafort and Konstantin Kilimnik.

A previous filing against Manafort on June 4 had accused the longtime Washington lobbyist of attempting to tamper with witness testimony, and was believed to have referred to Kilimnik as "Person A".

The charge accuses Manafort of violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) by failing to register as a foreign agent acting on behalf of the Ukrainian government and allegedly misleading United States authorities about his ties to the country.

The witnesses that Kilimnik and Manafort approached were involved in Manafort's alleged lobbying campaign on behalf of Ukrainian's government. Prosecutors said that while Manafort was on house arrest following a slew of charges filed against him in February, he got right to work breaking the law again.

The indictment - filed in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia - incorporates an existing indictment leveled against Manafort in October in which he was accused of conspiracy, money laundering, tax fraud, failure to file reports of foreign financial assets, serving as an unregistered foreign agent and giving false and misleading statements under the Foreign Agents Registration Act along with business associate Rick Gates.

'We should talk. I have made clear that they worked in Europe, ' Manafort wrote Person D in an encrypted message.

The charges against Manafort do not relate to his work on the Trump campaign or involve allegations of Russian election interference, a fact that the president has routinely noted as he tried to distance himself from his former top campaign adviser.

It was the third time Mueller had added to charges against Manafort.

According to the special counsel, in February, within days of Mueller's filing a 32-count superseding indictment against Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman allegedly contacted two individuals who worked with him on his lobbying efforts in Ukraine. This new indictment blows the idea out of the water that this is all pre-2016 nonsense.

The Ukraine first started investigating Kilimnik's supposed ties to Russia's intelligence services in August 2016.

He was described as the intermediary through which Manafort volunteered to brief his onetime client, aluminum tycoon Oleg Deripaska, about the Trump campaign. Because as Renato and I detailed in our piece yesterday, for bail purposes the judge must only determine by the relatively low probable cause standard that Manafort attempted to tamper with witnesses.

Kilimnik has denied to journalists that he has any connection to Russian intelligence. Gates, who was originally indicted along with Manafort, has pleaded guilty to two charges and is cooperating with prosecutors.

Mariotti also highlighted how unusual it was for a defendant like Manafort, who is being monitored and is facing federal charges, to make such a risky move while awaiting trial.

Related Articles