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Robert Mueller slaps obstruction charges on Paul Manafort

09 June, 2018, 21:34 | Author: Lucille Rivera
  • Former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort was named in the reports

Mueller's team has now secured indictments against 20 people, including Manafort, Manafort aide Rick Gates, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos.

In a superseding indictment (pdf), Mueller's team accuse Kilimnik and Paul Manafort of obstructing justice and conspiring to obstruct justice, by tampering with two unnamed witnesses.

In 2006, the year he reportedly began working for [Russian oligarch Oleg] Deripaska, Manafort bought a condo in Trump Tower for $3,675,000 through an LLC called John Hannah.

Mr Manafort is also charged with money laundering, illegal foreign lobbying, and lying to federal officials.

Manafort and Kilimnik worked together on behalf of the former government of Ukraine, prosecutors say. Moreover, several court documents filed by Mueller's prosecutors refer to Kilimnik as having "ties" to Russian intelligence organizations. But beyond the direct effects this indictment will have on Manafort, Mariotti argued that it had wider implications for the Russian Federation investigation as a whole. Trump has repeatedly denounced the probe as a "witch hunt" and denied any collusion took place.

Lastly, there is one more nugget in Manafort's indictment that I have yet to see highlighted in major media: some alleged crimes may be directly connected to Trump. "He charged the former chair of Trump's campaign and a suspected Russian intel operative with conspiracy", he said.

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Days ago Mueller sought to have Manafort be put in jail while he awaits trial because he allegedly tampered with witnesses. "What he's trying to do is to get witnesses to say that he believed the group was only doing business in Europe rather than the United States, but the witness knew the group was doing business in the United States".

Sources familiar with the group's activities said that among its major figures were Alfred Gusenbauer, a former Austrian chancellor, and Romano Prodi, a former Italian prime minister.

The filing also argued against any effort by Mueller to revoke or revise the conditions of Manafort's pretrial release from prison.

The memo says the Federal Bureau of Investigation agents assisting Mueller "assess that Person A has ties to a Russian intelligence service and had such ties in 2016".

They said Kilimnik may have reported to Russian intelligence officers in Moscow or Kiev or both on his work at the International Republican Institute office in Moscow where he was employed for a decade to 2005 and later on his work for Manafort in Ukraine.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson has scheduled a hearing for June 15 at which she ordered Manafort, prosecutors and witnesses to appear to deal with the alleged witness-tampering.

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