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Mueller Brings New Obstruction Charges Against Manafort And Russian Biz Pal

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Robert Mueller hits ex Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort with third indictment that also charges Russian operative

The indictment doesn't give details, but in another court motion earlier this week Mr. Mueller said Mr. Manafort tried to get a witness to lie for him in court.

Kilimnik has always been a close business colleague of Manafort's that prosecutors have said in previous filings has ties to Russian intelligence.

Manafort previously was facing charges brought in D.C, that included money laundering, failure to disclose foreign lobbying and false statements.

Kilimnik has been on the periphery of the Russian Federation investigation for months; he has been linked with a newspaper column that Manafort drafted making a case for himself in Ukraine.

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Prosecutors said the obstruction charge relates to Mr. Manafort's efforts to coach the stories of witnesses against him.

Kilimnik was an aide to Manafort, before Manafort became Trump's 2016 election campaign chair.

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Judge Amy Berman Jackson has scheduled a hearing for June 15 at which she ordered Manafort, prosecutors and witnesses to appear to deal with the alleged witness-tampering. Prosecutors says Manafort "repeatedly contacted" two people at the firm during that time and encouraged them to say they "never lobbied in the USA, and the objective of the program was E.U".

Prosecutors already claimed that Manafort misled federal authorities for years about his lobbying work in the USA for Ukrainian politicians before he joined the Trump campaign. He allegedly worked for Davis Manafort Partners International with Manafort and Rick Gates.

As Mueller's team mentioned in a superseding indictment filed against Manafort in February, Gates was also complicit in Manafort's efforts to mislead United States authorities about the nature of their lobbying efforts, and has since been cooperating with the special counsel. Those charges remain unchanged int he new indictment.

"They haven't been convicted of anything".

The superseding indictment revealed on Friday makes clear that the Justice Department considered the alleged tampering serious enough to file formal charges and add a new defendant.

Earlier on Friday, Mr Trump denied that he was considering pardoning Mr Manafort.

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