Mueller's latest indictment is a mixed bag for Trump

09 June, 2018, 02:22 | Author: Trevor Moore
  • Former Manafort colleagues told Mueller he attempted to influence their testimony report

At least one source familiar with his legal predicament told Politico Manafort has no bargaining power and no way of really cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.

Mueller is accusing Manafort and Kilimnik of "knowingly and intentionally" attempting "to corruptly persuade another person.with intent to influence, delay and prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding" from about February 23, 2018 to April 2018 in Washington D.C. As CBS News' Jeff Pegues puts it, the two are accused essentially of witness-coaching or tampering with witnesses.

Manafort and an alleged Russian intelligence asset, Konstantin Kilimnik, have both been charged.

Prosecutors already claimed that Manafort misled federal authorities for years about his lobbying work in the U.S. for Ukrainian politicians before he joined the Trump campaign.

Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, leaves the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C., April 4, 2018. For example, a headline on the conservative Daily Caller website read: "Mueller issues new indictment against Manafort and Ukrainian business partner that have nothing to do with collusion".

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.

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.

Gates has said he understood the associate to a former officer with the Russian military intelligence service, prosecutors said, and others who worked with Manafort in Ukraine said that Kilimnik did not hide his intelligence background. Gates struck a plea deal with Mueller's office in February and is now cooperating with prosecutors.

Manafort continues to fight charges of laundering millions of dollars and was recently accused of trying to fix witness testimony.

He was described as the intermediary through which Manafort volunteered to brief his onetime client, aluminum tycoon Oleg Deripaska, about the Trump campaign.

The charges mark the second time since October that an indictment against Manafort has been amended to include additional allegations.

Besides the president or his family, there is perhaps no bigger fish in the Russian Federation investigation than Manafort.

This has not escaped the attention of Judge T.S. Ellis, who is presiding over Mueller's case against Manafort in a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia.

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