Mueller Hits Manafort With New Charges, This Time for Obstruction of Justice

Because of the witness tampering allegations, prosecutors have asked the judge in DC to send Manafort to jail while he awaits his September trial.

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

Mr. Manafort's longtime associate, Konstantin V. Kilimnik, was added to the case, and was charged with obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Kilimnik has always been a close business colleague of Manafort's that prosecutors have said in previous filings has ties to Russian intelligence.

In a biting, nine-page filing Friday evening, Manafort's attorneys denied the allegations and accused Mueller's team of conjuring up "a sinister plot" from a scant record of telephone calls and de-encrypted texts.

The Atlantic magazine reported this week that Kilimnik has acted as an intermediary between Manafort and Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch with close contacts to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Rudy Giuliani, the personal lawyer for President Trump, said that former FBI Director James Comey could be prosecuted for his handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe based on an upcoming report from the Department of Justice's internal watchdog.

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort arrives for a hearing at the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse in Washington, D.C.

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort one focus of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election hides behind his car visor as he leaves his home in Alexandria Virginia U.S. O
Robert Mueller slaps obstruction charges on Paul Manafort

Here is the superseding indictment filed by Mueller on Friday.

Person D1 subsequently contacted Mueller's office and said they believed Manafort's messages were part of an effort to "suborn perjury", or coax them into giving false testimony, because they knew the group worked in both Europe and the US.

It looks like Paul Manafort is resorting to increasingly risky moves to avoid pleading guilty in the Russian Federation investigation. His co-defendant, Rick Gates, pleaded guilty in February and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

Through a spokesman, Manafort, 69, has maintained his innocence.

It was the third time Mueller had added to charges against Manafort.

The court filing argued Manafort did not violate the conditions imposed on him when he was placed under house arrest in October.

Prosecutors already claimed that Manafort misled federal authorities for years about his lobbying work in the USA for Ukrainian politicians before he joined the Trump campaign. The spokesman, Jason Maloni, said that Manafort and his attorneys were reviewing the new charges. "What you really care about is what information Mr. Manafort could give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump or lead to his prosecution or impeachment". "Indeed, previously", Manafort said.

Manafort also dings Mueller for allegedly violating his Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial and for refusing to reveal the government's list of potential witnesses, but both of these issues are only briefly touched upon.

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