Deadline: White House – 6/8/18 | MSNBC

 

Special counsel Robert Mueller on Friday filed new witness tampering criminal charges against ex-Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort as well against Russian citizen and former Manafort operative Konstantin Kilimnik.

The superseding indictment — the third against Manafort issued by a Washington, D.C., federal grand jury — came days after Mueller asked a judge to revoke Manafort’s $10 million bail and jail him because of alleged efforts to tamper with potential witnesses at his upcoming trials.

Manafort, 69, and the 48-year-old Moscow resident Kilimnik were both charged with obstructing justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice by using intimidation or force against a witness, and also with tampering with a witness, victim or informant.

The charges echo allegations Mueller made Monday in his request to revoke Manafort’s bail.

Kilimnik was a longtime employee of Manafort’s political consulting entities and had done work for him in Ukraine. He is also suspected of having connections to Russian intelligence services.

The indictment accuses Manafort, while being confined to his home, of conspiring with Kilimnik to influence two potential witnesses against Manafort between late February and April.

The witnesses are identified as “Persons D1 and D2” in the superseding indictment. That is exactly how Mueller, in his bail revocation request, identified two witnesses who had worked with Manafort and whom he allegedly tried to tamper with.

The “Person A” identified in Monday’s filing by the special counsel as Manafort’s accomplice in that effort appears to be Kilimnik.

In that filing, Mueller said that in February, after he filed a second superseding indictment against Manafort, both Manafort and Person A “repeatedly contacted Persons D1 and D2 in an effort to secure materially false testimony concerning the activities of the Hapsburg group.” That group was a collection of former senior European political leaders who allegedly acted as third-party paid lobbyists for Ukraine.

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