Mueller just hit Paul Manafort and a Russian intelligence operative with a new indictment

Paul Manafort

The special counsel Robert Mueller on Friday indicted Paul Manafort, the former chairman of the Trump campaign, and Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian-Ukrainian intelligence operative and longtime Manafort associate.
The new superseding indictment charges Manafort and Kilimnik with conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstruction of justice.

The special counsel Robert Mueller filed another superseding indictment against Paul Manafort, the former chairman of President Donald Trump’s campaign, and Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian-Ukrainian operative and longtime associate of Manafort.

The indictment charges Manafort and Kilimnik with conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstruction of justice.

Friday’s court filing comes after Mueller’s office asked the court in a separate filing on Monday to revoke or revise the terms of Manafort’s bail in light of Manafort’s and Kilimnik’s alleged attempts to tamper with witness testimony in the Russia probe. Mueller is investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 US election and whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow.

FBI special agent Brock Domin in the earlier filing said that Manafort attempted to communicate via phone and encrypted messaging with two people associated with the Hapsburg Group, a collection of former European leaders who were paid by Manafort to lobby for Ukraine in the US and Europe, after Mueller indicted him in February. They were named in the court filing as Person D1 and Person D2.

In February, the FBI accused Manafort of secretly paying the Hapsburg Group more than 2 million euros, through four different offshore accounts, to lobby on behalf of the Ukrainian government in 2012 and 2013, when it was controlled by the pro-Russian strongman Viktor Yanukovych.

In addition to Manafort, Mueller’s office also said another person, denoted in Monday’s court filing as “Person A,” reached out to witnesses associated with the Hapsburg Group.

While Person A’s identity was not initially clear, other details provided by the FBI in previous court filings indicated the individual was Kilimnik.

Persons D1 and D2 told the FBI that they believed Manafort and Person A reached out to them in an effort to coax them to alter their testimony to line up with Manafort’s version of events.

The identities of Person D1 and Person D2 are not clear. But media reports suggest the witnesses could be Romano Prodi, the former prime minister of Italy, and Alfred Gusenbauer, the former chancellor of Austria.

Prodi told The New York Times in February that he was not aware that the funds Gusenbauer had paid him had come from Manafort, and were part of “normal private relations I had with him,” and was “not any money from external sources.”

“I tell you I have never been paid from any lobby group in America,” Prodi added.

“I always had the point of view that it was important to move Ukraine closer to Europe,” Gusenbauer told the BBC in a separate statement. “It would have been extremely positive if Ukraine could have agreed” to closer ties, he said. “I was talking to EU and US politicians to make that point clear … I stopped this activity …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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