Robert Mueller’s Russia probe has a new indictee: a former Russian spy

Former Manafort colleagues told Mueller he attempted to influence their testimony report

Greg Nash

In the days that followed and through April, Manafort and Kilimnik suggested the two witnesses who worked on the Hapsburg group project say the group focused on Europe and "never lobbied in the U.S.", according to an encrypted message between Kilimnik and one witness that prosecutors obtained.

The case now accuses both Manafort and Kilimnik, 48, of Moscow, of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice, meaning they allegedly worked together to contact two possible witnesses in Manafort's case since February. "You now have the former chairman of the Trump campaign charged with conspiring with a suspected Russian intelligence operative".

The charges mark the second time since his October indictment that Manafort has faced additional criminal charges. "You don't really care about Mr. Manafort's bank fraud".

The new charges were announced Friday by the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. It's not clear exactly what Manafort knows, but he does appear to be a linchpin between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has told at least one foreign journalist that he would not agree to extradite Russians who have been charged by American prosecutors.

The Manafort case though focuses on his work between 2004 and 2014 in Ukraine for pro-Russia politicians including former Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovych.

The new charges revolve around allegations that Manafort, 69, and Kilimnik, 47, tried to influence two public relations executives who were involved in lobbying work in 2012 on behalf ot the Ukraine government.

One of the charges Manafort is facing is failing to properly register as a foreign agent.

"Going to the grand jury for a superseding indictment underlines how serious the government is about Manafort's conduct, " said Joyce Vance, a former U.S. Attorney in Alabama during the Obama administration. Jackson set a hearing date on whether to revoke or revise Manafort's bail for June 15.

Manafort has pleaded not guilty in both his Washington and Virginia cases. The spokesman, Jason Maloni, said Friday that Manafort and his attorneys were reviewing the new charges.

Manafort chaired Trump's presidential campaign and oversaw his delegate operation in the weeks leading up to the Republican National Convention.

"In his motion, the Special Counsel contrives dubious allegations of witness tampering", wrote Manafort lawyer Kevin Downing in his client's response to the special counsel's most recent measure against Manafort.

Gates reached a plea deal in February and agreed to cooperate with the special counsel investigation.

Kilimnik has denied to journalists that he has any connection to Russian intelligence.

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