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Mueller unveils new charges in Russian Federation probe

11 June 2018
Mueller unveils new charges in Russian Federation probe

Paul Manafort, former campaign manager for US President Donald Trump, departs after a hearing at US District Court in Washington, DC, US, April 19, 2018.

"Mr. Manafort asked no one to provide a false affidavit or false testimony at trial, or perjure themselves, and he has not given - nor offered to give - any potential witness anything in exchange for false testimony", the response said.

Ellis demanded to view a classified "scope memo" sent to Mueller by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, which outlines what the special counsel is authorized to probe.

The indictment charges both men with obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice related to contacts they had with two witnesses earlier this year.

The alleged coverup stems from work Manafort, Kilimnik and others did with former European politicians, referred to informally as the "Hapsburg group", to advocate on Ukraine's behalf to US and European officials.

U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller filed charges on Friday against a political operative with alleged ties to Russian intelligence, bringing his probe into possible collusion by the Trump presidential campaign a step closer to the Kremlin's door.

They could also be an effort by Mueller to induce a guilty plea and secure the testimony of a critical campaign adviser to Trump. It isn't clear yet whether Kilimnik might appear in court in Washington. The group's lobbying work included advocacy on behalf of Yanukovych in Washington, D.C., with members of Congress and officials in the executive branch.

The charges against Manafort and Gates don't relate to allegations of misconduct during Trump's campaign.

Kilimnik, who was born in eastern Ukraine and took up Russian citizenship after the collapse of the Soviet Union, studied English and Swedish at the Military Institute of the Russian Ministry of Defense in Moscow, which is a training ground for interpreters who work for Russia's military intelligence agency.

Manafort is now on bail and awaiting trial.

Before Kilimnik was identified by name in charges on Friday, he had made multiple appearances in Mueller's filings as an unidentified intermediary for Manafort. Kilimnik, who prosecutors say lives in Moscow, was not in USA custody Friday. The witnesses and Kilimnik (originally named in court docs as Person A) were implicated in coordinating this plot.

Eventually, Manafort was hired by former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, a controversial pro-Russia politician who was ousted from power twice.

Manafort worked with a lobbying firm that enlisted former European politicians, the so-called Hapsburg group, who wrote articles and addressed US politicians.

A special counsel is prosecuting Manafort for his work with the Ukrainian government, and a judge issued a gag order on the case. "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".

Manafort, who was chairman of Trump's campaign for several months in 2016, has been charged with multiple counts of tax evasion, money laundering and bank fraud. His co-defendant Gates pleaded guilty in February and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

Read on for a look at Manafort's work with the Trump campaign and how he is connected to the Russian Federation investigation. The deal was the subject of a long-running legal dispute, with Deripaska claiming Manafort had defrauded him.