Robert Mueller slaps obstruction charges on Paul Manafort

Robert Mueller slaps obstruction charges on Paul Manafort

The new indictment contains no allegations involving Kilimnik's alleged ties to Russian intelligence.

Kilimnik, 47, was formerly a Russian military interpreter, according to The Times, and worked at at a non-profit group called International Republican Institute, in Moscow.

Mr Manafort's lawyers had been given a deadline of Friday to respond to the charges of witness tampering.

Mueller reportedly asked the judge to revoke or revise an order releasing Manafort ahead of his trial later this year. Earlier this week, Mueller described Person A's ties to Russian intelligence as "active" during the 2016 election.

Prosecutors have accused Mr Kilimnik of having links to Russian intelligence.

Manafort is also charged with using offshore accounts to pay European politicians friendly to Ukraine.

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

Phang said the new indictment might get Mueller closer to proving there was a criminal conspiracy between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation to interfere in the 2016 election.

According to the witnesses, Manafort and Kilimnik appeared to be pressuring them to say the Hapsburg group only worked in Europe, when they knew that they had been secretly paid to lobby in the U.S. Several of the politicians involved have denied any wrongdoing. The individuals shared communications with prosecutors, the government said.

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In a response to the accusations made earlier in the week, Manafort's attorneys argued in a filing late Friday night that the special counsel allegations of witness tampering "conjures a sinister plot" to persuade associates to perjure themselves, but disputes that the evidence provided establishes any tampering.

"The special counsel creates an argument based on the thinnest of evidence", wrote the defense team led by Washington attorney Kevin Downing.

The indictment took the number of people indicted by the 13-month-old investigation by independent counsel Robert Mueller to 20, with three companies also indicted.

"They haven't been convicted of anything", Trump said, telling the media that he hasn't given any thought to the notion.

A judge is set to hear arguments on June 15.

Gates reached a plea deal in February and agreed to cooperate with the special counsel investigation. Manafort's lawyers would find the hard work of trial preparation even more challenging with their client in jail, Zeidenberg said.

They said Manafort's "limited communications can not be fairly read, either factually or legally, to reflect an intent to corruptly influence a trial witness".

"I was a federal prosecutor for nearly a decade ..."

Kilimnik has been on the periphery of the Russian Federation investigation for months; he has been linked with a newspaper column that Manafort drafted making a case for himself in Ukraine. The indictment claims that Manafort, working with his associate Gates, generated tens of millions of dollars in income from his work and hid it from USA authorities. Gates is cooperating with prosecutors against Manafort.