Russia Probe: Paul Manafort Indicted on Obstruction Charges

Prosecutors unsealed more charges on Friday against Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and also accused a new defendant of conspiring with Manafort to obstruct justice. It merely restates the accusations first unveiled Monday against him and Manafort, transferring the allegations of witness tampering from a violation of the terms of Manafort's bail to two counts of obstruction of justice against both him and Kilimnik.

The charges mark the second time since his October indictment that Manafort has faced additional criminal charges.

Closer scrutiny of this "evidence" reveals that the Special Counsel's allegations are without merit because Mr. Manafort's limited communications can not be fairly read, either factually or legally, to reflect an intent to corruptly influence a trial witness.

According to Mueller's filing this week, Manafort's alleged attempts to tamper with witness testimony took place over several days in February, after Gates' cooperation deal was announced.

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 motion by Manafort's legal team maintained that Manafort's former "Habsburg Group" did not do lobbying work for the United States and focused instead on "promoting the idea of a Ukraine that is closer to Europe than to Russian Federation and to recognize the path toward electoral and economic reforms".

Manafort allegedly sent one of the executives a text that said: "We should talk".

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.

"This "superseding" indictment replaces the D.C. indictment and adds new charges against Manafort", Mariotti explained on Twitter. He is set to appear in federal court on June 15 for a hearing on whether his pretrial release will be revised or revoked, Reuters reported.

Besides the president or his family, there is perhaps no bigger fish in the Russian Federation investigation than Manafort. He has pleaded not guilty in both cases. Authorities charge that the conduct of Manafort and Kilimnik amounts to witness tampering, and have asked a judge to revise or revoke Manafort's bail package.

The two remained close while Manafort was working for Trump's campaign.

Manafort's longtime business associate in Ukraine, Konstantin Kilimnik, was also indicted on the same charge.

Earlier this week, Mueller's office accused Manafort of attempting to get witnesses to lie for him in court.

  • Rogelio Becker