Manafort blasts Mueller's 'dubious' accusation of attempted witness tampering

Former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort was named in the reports

Image Former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort

The new charges were unsealed Friday against Paul Manafort and Konstantin Kilimnik, who worked in the Ukraine offices of Manafort's firm, Davis Manafort Partners International (DMI).

Manafort's filing on Friday was not responding to the obstruction of justice charges, but to an earlier request by Mueller that the judge consider putting him in detention before his trial due to the alleged witness tampering. One of the leading Russiagate voice in Congress, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California), declared that the indictment shows Manafort "worked with a Russian with reported ties to Russian intelligence" to subvert USA laws.

Legal experts say Manafort's alleged efforts to convince witnesses to assert that the Hapsburg Group had only been active in Europe would have allowed Manafort to argue he had not violated FARA.

"They haven't been convicted of anything".

Mueller has now brought more than 100 criminal charges against 20 people.

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Kilimnik also reached out to witnesses in April.

He added: "That evidence would likely be extremely damaging to Manafort at trial-if he was innocent, why would he try to engage in witness tampering?"

Manafort has already been charged with conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading Foreign Agents Registration Act statements and false statements.

Manafort managed President Donald Trump's election campaign between June and August of 2016.

The government has not charged Manafort with the crime of witness-tampering or obstruction of justice.

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The Manafort case though focuses on his work between 2004 and 2014 in Ukraine for pro-Russia politicians including former Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovych. Prosecutors allege that amounts to trying to get everyone on the same page since everyone involved knew they had lobbied Congress on behalf of Ukraine. Manafort had been close to getting court approval for a $10 million bail deal that would permit him to remain on electronic monitoring at home.

In 2006, the year he reportedly began working for [Russian oligarch Oleg] Deripaska, Manafort bought a condo in Trump Tower for $3,675,000 through an LLC called John Hannah.

Emails show that during the middle of the campaign, Manafort told Kilimnik he was willing to provide "private briefings" about Trump's presidential run to a billionaire close to Russian President Vladimir Putin. "What you really care about is what information Mr. Manafort could give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump or lead to his prosecution or impeachment".

Allies of Manafort urged him to cut off communication with Kilimnik, also known as "KK", The Times reported.

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