Mueller brings charges against Manafort associate

Mueller brings charges against Manafort associate
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Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerLewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network Mueller report fades from political conversation MORE filed an indictment on Friday that charges a longtime associate of former Trump campaign manager Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortLewandowski refuses to say whether Trump has offered him a pardon Democrats return to a battered Trump Manafort's legal team argues NY prosecution constitutes double jeopardy MORE, Konstantin Kilimnik, with obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

The filing says that Manafort and Kilimnik“knowingly and intentionally” attempted to influence two other persons’ testimony to Mueller.

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Kilimnik, now the 20th person to be indicted in Mueller’s investigation, has been tied to Russian intelligence in previous court filings that did not name him.

In March, documents filed by Mueller's team had alleged that Manafort and another longtime business associate, Richard Gates, were aware that an unidentified associate "was a former Russian Intelligence Officer.”

Kilimnik has denied any ties to Russian intelligence, telling The Washington Post that he has "no relation to the Russian or any other intelligence service."

The Ukrainian-born Russian national worked with Manafort and Gates for years in their lobbying work in Ukraine. Gates, who was originally indicted along with Manafort, has pleaded guilty to two charges and is cooperating with prosecutors.

The court filings accuse Manafort, Gates and Kilimnik of engaging “in a multi-million dollar lobbying campaigning” at the direction of Viktor Yanukovych, the former Russia-aligned Ukrainian president from 2006 until 2014.

In a court filing earlier this week, Mueller asked a court to revoke Manafort’s pretrial conditions, accusing him and one other person–now identified as Kliminik–of attempting to tamper with witnesses.

The New York Times reported Friday morning that Manafort and Kilimnik attempted to contact two veteran journalists with whom they had worked on Ukrainian lobbying efforts to influence the accounts they gave to Mueller.

The veteran journalists helped lead a lobbying and consulting project intended to bolster the reputation of former Ukrainian president Victor Yanukovych.

Manafort funded the project with more than $2 million from overseas accounts. The former Trump campaign chair is facing several other financial crime charges related to his pre-campaign work.