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Where’s Russian Federation collusion? Mueller adds obstruction to Manafort indictment, charges Kiev businessman

Where’s Russian Federation collusion? Mueller adds obstruction to Manafort indictment, charges Kiev businessman

A federal grand jury returned a third superseding indictment against Paul Manafort Friday, while also adding the former Trump campaign chairman's longtime associate, Konstantin Kilimnik, of Moscow.

Prosecutors filed court papers Monday accusing Manafort and Kilimnik of attempting to sway the testimony of two potential witnesses who might offer evidence against Manafort.

New charges have been filed against President Trump's former adviser Paul Manafort as part of the United States probe into Russian meddling.

The witnesses worked with Manafort in organizing a group of former European officials who lobbied within the USA without registering as required by law.

Kilimnik, a former army-trained linguist with alleged ties to Russian intelligence, was included in an updated, lengthened indictment of Manafort that accused both of witness tampering.

Manafort's lawyers, in a court filing on Friday, asked the judge to reject Mueller's request, saying "the text messages cited by the special counsel do not establish any witness tampering".

The indictment charges that former Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovych and his political party retained lobbyists through Manafort to serve as intermediaries with the former European politicians.

The former Trump campaign chairman has been indicted again.




The charges do not relate to Manafort's 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. Friday's indictment does not change the counts already against him.

The timing of these fresh charges couldn't come at a more awkward time, with Mr Trump only this morning calling for the reinstatement of Russian Federation into the G-7.

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. Manafort deputy and co-defendant Rick Gates had pleaded guilty to lying to investigators and to a conspiracy charge.

The additional charges could add to pressure on Manafort to cut a deal and cooperate with the probe, legal experts said. Manafort's lawyers had been given a deadline of Friday to respond to those charges.

In the summer of 2016, Manafort emailed Kilimnik and told him to offer private briefings on the USA presidential campaign to Deripaska in an effort to resolve the dispute, people close to the situation have said.

Financial records obtained by The New York Times indicated that Manafort was in debt to pro-Russian interests by up to $17 million prior to joining Trump's campaign.

Ellis previously suggested Manafort could spend the rest of his life in prison. The Special Counsel has not provided Mr. Manafort with its witness list.

What has Manafort been charged with?

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