Donald Trump's campaign chairman faces new criminal charges

Donald Trump's campaign chairman faces new criminal charges

Donald Trump's campaign chairman faces new criminal charges

Manafort and a confidante - later revealed to be Konstantin Kilimnik in a new indictment released Friday - asked the two former business associates to claim lobbying work they did for Ukraine only happened in Europe, and not in the United States.

Since Feb. 23, Mueller alleges Manafort and Kilimnik have "repeatedly" tried to get in touch with two people connected to the so-called Hapsburg group, a consulting firm made up of Kremlin-friendly European politicians with ties to Yanukovych.

Manafort messaged and called one of the witnesses shortly after he and business partner Rick Gates were indicted previous year on a slew of charges related to their Ukrainian political activities, according to court papers. "We will do our talking in court".

The additional charges could add to pressure on Manafort to cut a deal and cooperate with Mueller's probe, legal experts said.

On Friday, Trump also dismissed any talk of pardoning Manafort or his longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, who is under investigation by federal prosecutors in NY.

The president has consistently downplayed Manafort's role in this campaign leading up to his general election victory in 2016.

The alleged coverup stems from work Manafort, Kilimnik and others did with former European politicians, referred to informally as the "Hapsburg group", to advocate on Ukraine's behalf to USA and European officials.

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In Friday's indictment, Mueller accused Kilimnik of taking part in the covert lobbying scheme, and in trying to influence potential witnesses.

"You now have the former chairman of the Trump campaign charged with conspiring with a suspected Russian intelligence operative". It isn't clear yet whether Kilimnik might appear in court in Washington.

This was shortly after a grand jury filed an indictment against Manafort. The country was ousted from the leading group of industrialised nations in 2014 as punishment for President Vladimir Putin's annexation of Crimea and its support for pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine.

Manafort's attorneys countered that prosecutors presented "scant proof" - mostly "irrelevant, innocuous" texts, and one completed phone call of five attempts that lasted one minute and 24 seconds. He is now on house arrest at his condo in Alexandria, Virginia, and has a $10 million unsecured bail. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges. "Closer scrutiny of this "evidence" reveals that the Special Counsel's allegations are without merit because Mr. Manafort's limited communications can not be fairly read, either factually or legally, to reflect an intent to corruptly influence a trial witness". The government wants Berman Jackson to rescind Manafort's bail and put him in jail ahead of his trial. Manafort and his lawyers have disputed the charges against him.

Asked on Friday if he would pardon Manafort, Trump refused to answer. The FBI assessed Kilimnik had active ties to Russia's military intelligence service in 2016, according to the filing.

The Epoch Times previously laid out how a select group of Obama-administration officials orchestrated an expansive spy operation against the Trump campaign that included national security letters-a type of secret subpoena-Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants, at least one spy, the unmasking of American citizens in intelligence reports, and spying conducted by foreign intelligence agencies. Kilimnik later took on more responsibilities, serving as Manafort's liaison to Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire who paid Manafort to advise him on investments.

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