Sunday, 19 August, 2018

Manafort Associate Konstantin Kilimnik Indicted In Mueller Probe

Former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort was named in the reports Image Former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort
Melinda Barton | 09 June, 2018, 00:47

President Donald Trump frequently insists that there was "no collusion" between his associates and Russian Federation, but a new indictment from special counsel Robert Mueller makes that talking point completely futile now, as former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti explained Friday.

Mr Manafort is already awaiting trial on charges related to lobbying work.

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

A witness-tampering charge could prove to be a major factor in Mueller's effort get Manafort to cooperate with his probe.

The Ukraine first started investigating Kilimnik's supposed ties to Russia's intelligence services in August 2016.

Mr Manafort is the most senior member of Mr Trump's campaign to be indicted, though the charges do not relate to campaign activities.

The latest indictment adds new charges related to accusations that Manafort engaged in witness tampering.

The indictment states that Manafort and Kilimnik tried to corruptly persuade two people, identified only as Persons D1 and D2, to go along with his story.

Earlier this week Mr Manafort was accused of witness tampering.

Mr Kilimnik was a longtime employee of Mr Manafort's political-consulting firm, had done extensive lobbying work for him in Ukraine on behalf of the country's then pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych.

The White House did not immediately comment on Friday's new charges, but some of Trump's allies quickly picked up a familiar argument. Gates, who was originally indicted along with Manafort, has pleaded guilty to two charges and is cooperating with prosecutors.

As Mueller's team mentioned in a superseding indictment filed against Manafort in February, Gates was also complicit in Manafort's efforts to mislead USA authorities about the nature of their lobbying efforts, and has since been cooperating with the special counsel.

'They haven't been convicted of anything.

The filing says that Manafort and Kliminik "knowingly and intentionally" attempted to influence two other persons' testimony to Mueller. There's nothing to pardon, ' Trump added.