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Mueller Files New Indictment against Manafort for Witness Tampering

Paul Manafort departs from U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., February 28, 2018. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters)

Special Counsel Robert Mueller brought an additional indictment against former Trump-campaign chairman Paul Manafort Friday afternoon, superseding two previous indictments related to Manafort’s prior foreign-lobbying work.

The new indictment adds Konstantin Kilimnik, who previously managed Manafort’s lobbying operations in Ukraine, as a defendant, and charges both men with conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstruction of justice.

The charges, brought by a grand jury empaneled in Washington, D.C., stem from the pair’s alleged efforts to tamper with witnesses.

The indictment comes days after prosecutors asked the presiding judge to revoke Manafort’s bail because of an alleged attempt at witness tampering. The prosecutors, working at Mueller’s behest, claimed that Manafort and one of his long-time business associates reached out to two employees at a public-relations firm formerly in their employ and asked the pair to lie about the nature of the secret lobbying work at issue in Manafort’s case, the Washington Post reported late Monday.

Manafort and his colleague, referred to only as “Person A” in court documents, allegedly tried to contact the witnesses by phone and through encrypted-messaging apps. One of the witnesses said he “understood Manafort’s outreach to be an effort to ‘suborn perjury,’” according to an affidavit written by an FBI agent. The Post is now reporting that “Person A” matches the description of Kilimnik, a Russian-born Ukrainian who managed Manafort’s lobbying office in Kiev for decades.

The indictment comes atop previous charges brought against Manafort, including conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading Foreign Agents Registration Act statements and false statements.

Including Kilimnik, 20 individuals and three companies have now been indicted as a result of Mueller’s probe.

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