Where’s Russian Federation collusion? Mueller adds obstruction to Manafort indictment, charges Kiev businessman

Sergio Conner
June 9, 2018

The indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Washington marks the first such charges for Manafort's associate, Konstantin Kilimnik, who is believed to be in Moscow and therefore likely safe from arrest, because Russian Federation does not extradite its citizens.

This is Mueller's first indictment with both a Russian and an American name on it-former Trump Campaign Chair Manafort and suspected Russian intel operative Konstantin Kilimnik.

The indictment lodges both obstruction and conspiracy to obstruct justice charges, saying the conduct happened earlier this year. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges. Because as Renato and I detailed in our piece yesterday, for bail purposes the judge must only determine by the relatively low probable cause standard that Manafort attempted to tamper with witnesses.

In the case of D2, a Manafort associate reached out to say Mr. Manafort was looking to share with the witness his own version of "what's going on".

He has pleaded not guilty to charges related to his failure to disclose his U.S. lobbying work for a foreign government and to bank fraud and other financial crimes.

Kilimnik, a Russian Army-trained linguist, was Manafort's right-hand man for more than a decade and ran the Kiev office of Manafort's political consulting company, Davis Manafort Partners International. One of them told investigators that he "understood Manafort's outreach to be an effort to "suborn perjury" since he knew that part of the firm was in fact trying to influence opinion within the U.S.

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Mueller's office has already charged Manafort with conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, and false statements.

Prosecutors allege that Mr. Kilimnik and Mr. Manafort tried to convince two associates who worked on the campaign involving the Europeans, whom they referred to as the "Hapsburg group", to lie about its scope.

It was the third time Mueller had added to charges against Manafort since he was indicted in October.

Here is the superseding indictment filed by Mueller on Friday. In addition, the filing says, Manafort's right to a fair trial by impartial jury "may have been irreparably damaged by the Special Counsel's latest, very public and very specious, filing of this motion". Among the alleged texts Mueller highlighted was one in which Kilimnik told one associate that Manafort wanted to "give him a quick summary that he says to everybody (which is true) that our friends never lobbied in the USA, and the goal of the program was European Union".

Manafort has acknowledged staying in frequent contact with Kilimnik during the time he worked for Trump's campaign. It isn't clear yet whether Kilimnik might appear in court in Washington.

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