Mueller Charges Manafort Again, Including his Buddy from Russian Military Intelligence
01:23, Jun 11, 2018
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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".
The latest indictment adds new charges related to accusations that Manafort engaged in witness tampering.
New charges have been filed against President Trump's former adviser Paul Manafort as part of the U.S. probe into Russian meddling. The charges are related to an effort by him, Mr. Manafort and other associates to have prominent European politicians vouch publicly for Viktor F. Yanukovych, the pro-Russia former president of Ukraine, who was Mr. Manafort's client.
Kilimnik, who isn't in the USA and didn't immediately respond to a request for comment, has denied any links to Russian intelligence.
Manafort's lawyers responded to those allegations in a sharply worded filing late Friday, accusing Mueller of contriving "dubious allegations" of witness tampering and, in so doing, poisoning the jury pool ahead of his trials.
Manafort had used Kilimnik to try to resolve his ongoing dispute with Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch who is close to President Vladimir Putin.
Manafort joined Trump's presidential campaign in March 2016 to help wrangle delegates ahead of the Republican National Convention in OH, something he'd done for former President Gerald Ford.
Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort arrives for a hearing at the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse in Washington, D.C.
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The superseding indictment Mueller's team filed in Washington builds on their previous allegations that Manafort did illegal lobbying work for Ukraine and laundered millions of dollars in proceeds.
She reportedly was said to have damaging information on Trump's campaign rival, Hillary Clinton, which was "part of Russian Federation and its government's support for Mr. Trump".
For Manafort, though, the charges come at a perilous time, just hours before his attorneys filed a legal brief arguing that he should be allowed to be freed from home confinement on bond pending his trial, scheduled for next month in Alexandria, Virginia.
At one point, even as Manafort was on notice that investigators had been monitoring his communications, the former campaign chairman sent an encrypted text message to one of the witnesses, saying: "This is Paul.We should talk", court papers stated. Manafort pleaded not guilty and is fighting the charges in court. Manafort maintains that the firm's work was confined to the European Union, but his actions between February and April belie that claim. The spokesman, Jason Maloni, said Friday that Manafort and his attorneys were reviewing the new charges.
Manafort is now out on house arrest and a $10 million unsecured bail.
Manafort has acknowledged staying in frequent contact with Kilimnik during the time he worked for Trump's campaign.
Manafort also dings Mueller for allegedly violating his Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial and for refusing to reveal the government's list of potential witnesses, but both of these issues are only briefly touched upon.
Kilimnik has also drawn the scrutiny of congressional committees investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.
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Mr Trump has denied any collusion with Russian Federation and called the special counsel investigation a "witch hunt". Prosecutors said Mr Manafort has broken violations of his release while he awaits trial.
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On Tuesday, Judge Amy Berman Jackson , one of the two judges hearing the cases against Manafort, rejected these arguments . That memo explicitly gave Mueller authority to probe all of Manafort's Ukraine-related work predating the 2016 campaign.
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