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Special counsel indicts Russian, adds charges against Manafort

Special counsel indicts Russian, adds charges against Manafort

Special counsel Robert Mueller has brought new obstruction charges against President Donald Trump's campaign chairman and a longtime associate who prosecutors have said has ties to Russian intelligence.

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.

The indictment states that Manafort and his associate Konstantin Kilimnik "knowingly and intentionally attempted to corruptly persuade" two unnamed witnesses "with intent to influence, delay, and prevent the testimony". Prosecutors have previously said Kilimnik has ties to Russian intelligence, which he denies.

In the case of D2, a Manafort associate reached out to say Mr. Manafort was looking to share with the witness his own version of "what's going on".

The new counts could make it harder for Manafort to avoid jail before he goes on trial for alleged financial crimes that largely predate his time on the Trump campaign.

Paul Manafort's lawyers file a motion in response to Robert Mueller, calling the charges against their client "dubious".

Here is the superseding indictment filed by Mueller on Friday.

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She reportedly was said to have damaging information on Trump's campaign rival, Hillary Clinton, which was "part of Russian Federation and its government's support for Mr. Trump".

At one point, even as Manafort was on notice that investigators had been monitoring his communications, the former campaign chairman sent an encrypted text message to one of the witnesses, saying: "This is Paul.We should talk", court papers stated. Gates has already pleaded guilty and is cooperating with Mueller's investigation.

By adding Kilimnik to the running charges against Manafort, Mueller bolsters his argument for tearing up Manafort's bail deals, according to Peter Zeidenberg, a former federal prosecutor who is now a partner at Arent Fox LLP in Washington.

Prosecutors complained to a federal judge earlier this week that Manafort - and, apparently, Kilimnik - had been contacting people who knew about that work to ask them to tell jurors that the Ukraine lobbying had only taken place inside Europe. He also revealed that before getting involved with Manafort and Gates in 2005, he worked for the International Republican Institute, a US-funded "democracy promotion" outfit led by Senator John McCain (R-Arizona).

Manafort hired Kilimnik, who is a Russian national, as a translator in his office in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, in 2005. The spokesman, Jason Maloni, said that Manafort and his attorneys were reviewing the new charges.

Information for this article was contributed by Chad Day, Eric Tucker and Jill Colvin of The Associated Press; by Kenneth P. Vogel of The New York Times; and by Devlin Barrett, Spencer S. Hsu and Rosalind S. Helderman of The Washington Post.