Sunday, 24 June, 2018

Manafort Hits Back Against Mueller's Latest Charges, Revoke of Conditions

Спецпрокурор Мюллер предъявил обвинения Полу Манафорту Paul Manafort appears to be running out of ways to combat a key charge in the Mueller probe
Jay Anderson | 11 June, 2018, 14:14

None of the charges against Manafort are related to Russian interference in the 2016 elections or any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, which Mueller was originally appointed to investigate.

Manafort's attorneys argue in newly filed court papers that he never asked anyone to provide false testimony.

In the late Friday filing, Manafort's lawyers said the special counsel's allegations of witness tampering "conjures a sinister plot" to persuade associates to perjure themselves, but disputes that the evidence provided establishes any tampering. The attorneys say Manafort was just maintaining his innocence in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

The indictment charges both men with obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice related to contacts they had with two witnesses earlier this year.

Paul Manafort and a longtime business associate were indicted Friday on new charges that they conspired to obstruct justice.

Mueller's indictment released Friday against Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, adds witness-tampering charges to allegations that Manafort did illegal lobbying work for Ukraine and laundered millions of dollars in proceeds. Kilimnik was considered by investigators to have been involved trying to set this up, according to The Washington Post last September. The spokesman, Jason Maloni, said Friday that Manafort and his lawyers were reviewing the new charges.

Prosecutors have accused Kilimnik of having ties to Russian intelligence, a charge he denies. The group's lobbying work included advocacy on behalf of Yanukovych in Washington, D.C., with members of Congress and officials in the executive branch.

Note: The original version of this article incorrectly stated that Kilimnik was charged with two counts of obstruction of justice.




Kilimnik, a Russian intelligence asset, is now under the protection of Moscow and unlikely to ever see an American court room. He's awaiting trial in federal courts in Washington and Alexandria, Virginia.

As previously reported "FACTS", the court rejected Manafort a request to remove one of the charges.

Since Feb. 23, Mueller alleges Manafort and Kilimnik have "repeatedly" tried to get in touch with two people connected to the so-called Hapsburg group, a consulting firm made up of Kremlin-friendly European politicians with ties to Yanukovych. The individuals shared communications with prosecutors, the government said.

The judge in Manafort's case rebuked Mueller's team during a hearing in early May, saying that the prosecutors are more interested in taking down Trump than securing a conviction against Manafort.

Mueller's accusations centered on work that Manafort arranged a half-decade ago to promote Viktor Yanukovych, a pro-Russian politician who was then Ukraine's president.

Kilimnik worked with Manafort in Ukraine during that time, and during the 2016 election they were reportedly in regular contact. Among other things, they also affect the business partner Manafort of Ukraine Konstantin Kilimnik.

Along with his former business associate Rick Gates, Manafort was initially indicted in October 2017 on multiple counts that included: conspiracy against the USA, conspiracy to launder money, false statements and failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.

They said Manafort's "limited communications can not be fairly read, either factually or legally, to reflect an intent to corruptly influence a trial witness". Gates is cooperating with prosecutors against Manafort. The deal was the subject of a long-running legal dispute, with Deripaska claiming Manafort had defrauded him.

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