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READ: Robert Mueller Issues Superseding Indictment Against Paul Manafort & Konstantin Kilimnik

paul manafort, obstruction of justice, witness tampering, robert mueller, collusion

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 23: Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort arrives for a hearing at the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse on May 23, 2018 in Washington, DC. Manafort was indicted last year by a federal grand jury and has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him including, conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, and being an unregistered agent of a foreign principal. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The office of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III has filed a superseding indictment against Paul Manafort, the embattled former chairman of President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.

The indictment also names Manafort’s former business associate Konstantin Kilimnik, who has close ties to Russian intelligence, as a codefendant.

The 32-page indictment includes two charges: obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice, alleging that Manafort and Kilimnik conspired to intimidate witnesses in Mueller’s probe into whether Trump’s presidential campaign colluded with foreign powers to influence the 2016 presidential election.

The defendants PAUL J. MANAFORT, JR., and KONSTANTIN KILIMNIK knowingly and intentionally conspired to corruptly persuade another person, to wit: Persons D1 and D2, with intent to influence, delay, and prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding.

This is a significant development relating to accusations of “collusion,” as Mueller’s latest indictment is the first to charge both an American and a Russian with the same crimes under the scope of the special counsel’s investigation.

The conspiracy charge alleges that Manafort “repeatedly contacted Persons D1 and D2 in an effort to secure materially false testimony concerning the activities of the Hapsburg group,” a lobbying firm that conducts business on behalf of Ukranian interests.

Kilimnik is the 20th individual to be indicted on criminal charges related to the ongoing Russia investigation. The indictment states that Kilimnik, formerly known as “Person A,” wrote to Person D2: “Basically P wants to give him a quick summary that he says to everybody (which is true) that our friends never lobbied in the US, and the purpose of the program was EU.”

Friday’s indictment includes five previous charges against Manafort, which include conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign principal, and false statements.

The new charges against Manafort offer a glimpse into how Mueller is planning on prosecuting ‘collusion’- as we learned today, Manafort employed the assistance of a foreign agent to intentionally impede an ongoing federal investigation into the Trump campaign’s supposed ties to Russia.

Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA), who co-chairs the House Intelligence Committee, tweeted the importance of Friday’s development, “shows that Trump’s former campaign chair worked with a Russian with reported ties to Russian intelligence to subvert U.S. law.”

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    Brandon Gage

    Political Writer

    Brandon began his writing career in a hospital bed in July, 2017. His mission is to provide insight ... keep reading