A federal grand jury returned a third superseding indictment against Paul Manafort Friday, while also adding the former Trump campaign chairman’s longtime associate, Konstantin Kilimnik, of Moscow.
The indictment, filed in Washington, D.C., charges Manafort and Kilimnik with obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice. It also left five previous counts against Manafort, including money laundering and making a false statement.
Around and between February and April of this year, Manafort and Kilimnik “knowingly and intentionally attempted to corruptly persuade another person, to wit: Persons D1 and D2, with intent to influence, delay, and prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding,” according to the indictment.
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s office filed a motion with the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., earlier this week alleging that Manafort attempted to tamper with potential witnesses while on pretrial release, including attempting to contact two people identified in documents as D1 and D2 by cellphone and encrypted messaging.
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Persons D1 and D2 were described as “principals of a public relations company” who acted “as intermediaries between” Manafort, his associates, and a group of former European politicians, whom Manafort paid as part of a lobbying scheme.
The motion described efforts by Person A, “a longtime associate of Manafort’s,” and now known to be Kilimnik, to get in contact with Persons D1 and D2 on behalf of Manafort.
According to that filing, Kilimnik contacted Person D2 in February to inform Person D2 that Manafort was attempting to get in touch with Person D1.
“Basically P wants to give him a quick summary that he says to everybody (which is true) that our friends never lobbied in the US, and the purpose of the program was EU,” Kilimnik wrote.
The filing from the special counsel’s office asked Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to revoke or revise Manafort’s bail.
Lawyers for the longtime Republican lobbyist said Friday night they opposed the motion, and called the allegations of witness tampering “dubious.”
“The crux of the Special Counsel’s motion is just two text communications from the defendant and unfounded speculation,” they said.
Manafort’s legal team consists of Kevin Downing, Thomas Zehnle and Richard Westling.
In a footnote, they said Mueller’s team attempted to “poison the potential jury pool against Mr. Manafort,” part of “an undeniable pattern of heavy-handed tactics employed by the Special Counsel.”
Jackson has set a hearing date on whether to revoke or revise Manafort’s bail for June 15.
Read the documents: