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Manafort indicted on witness tampering charges

Manafort indicted on witness tampering charges
UPI

June 8 (UPI) — A new indictment linked to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation Friday charged former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort with obstruction of justice.

Mueller’s team accused Manafort and Konstantin Kilimnik — an aide alleged to have ties to Russian intelligence — of tampering with witnesses. The court document did not name the two witnesses nor did it provide details of the allegation.

The indictment — filed in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia — incorporates an existing indictment leveled against Manafort in October in which he was accused of conspiracy, money laundering, tax fraud, failure to file reports of foreign financial assets, serving as an unregistered foreign agent and giving false and misleading statements under the Foreign Agents Registration Act along with business associate Rick Gates.

This is the first indictment from the Mueller probe to name Kilimnik, a Russian citizen.

Manfort and Gates faced a second indictment in February in the Eastern District of Virginia. That document accused them of lying to banks about their business income in order to get more than $20 million in loans.

Manafort pleaded not guilty to both indictments and a judge placed him on house arrest shortly after his arrest in October. He posted $10 million bond.

Last week, Mueller’s team asked the D.C. court to revoke or revise Manafort’s release conditions and send him to jail until his trial begins for tampering with witnesses.

Manafort resigned as Trump’s campaign chairman in August 2016 after The New York Times reported a Ukrainian government corruption probe found Manafort received nearly $13 million off the books from a pro-Russian Ukrainian political party. In June 2017, when Manafort registered as a foreign agent after the fact, he reported making more than $17 million from the Party of Regions.

Manafort also was one of eight people in attendance at a meeting between Trump Jr. and a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer.

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