Manafort hit with indictment for conspiracy to obstruct justice; former associate charged

  • Manafort hit with indictment for conspiracy to obstruct justice; former associate charged

Manafort hit with indictment for conspiracy to obstruct justice; former associate charged

Special counsel Robert Mueller has brought additional charges against President Donald Trump's campaign chairman and a longtime associate, accusing them of obstructing justice.

In addition to the FARA charge, Manafort stands accused of tax fraud, bank fraud, and conspiracy against the United States.

Prosecutors allege that Mr. Kilimnik and Mr. Manafort tried to convince two associates who worked on the campaign involving the Europeans, whom they referred to as the "Hapsburg group", to lie about its scope. He allegedly worked for Davis Manafort Partners International with Manafort and Rick Gates.

In previous court filings Mueller's team has referred to Kilimnik as "Person A", someone "who is now based in Russia and assessed to have ties to a Russian intelligence service". Prosecutors say Manafort broke the law by failing to register as a lobbyist for foreign interests in the US. Kilimnik also reached out to witnesses in April. "However, exhibits attached to the Special Counsel's filing support the defendant's position that the mission and work of the so-called Hapsburg Group was European-focused and that the text messages cited by the Special Counsel do not establish any witness tampering". He has pleaded not guilty to charges related to his failure to disclose his USA lobbying work for a foreign government and to bank fraud and other financial crimes. Manafort has longstanding ties to a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine and a Russian oligarch close to the Kremlin. Manafort had been close to getting court approval for a $10 million bail deal that would permit him to remain on electronic monitoring at home.

Mueller is now asking a judge to either revise the terms of his release or revoke it entirely, which could mean he will have to stay in jail until his trial. He joined the Russian Army as a translator, work that closely aligned him with the army's intelligence services - an account pieced together from a handful of people who worked with him or were briefed on his background, including a former senior CIA official with direct knowledge of Kilimnik's activities.

"This "superseding" indictment replaces the D.C. indictment and adds new charges against Manafort", Mariotti explained on Twitter. Kilimnik later took on more responsibilities, serving as Manafort's liaison to Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire who paid Manafort to advise him on investments.

Russian political operative Konstantin Kilimnik was also indicted.

Earlier on Friday, Mr Trump denied that he was considering pardoning Mr Manafort. Kilimnik told The Washington Post they emailed and spoke frequently.

Spencer S. Hsu is an investigative reporter, two-time Pulitzer finalist and national Emmy Award nominee.