The latest charges increase Manafort's legal jeopardy if he continues a battle with prosecutors. He faces a second trial in Washington in September.
In the late Friday filing, Manafort's lawyers said the special counsel's allegations of witness tampering "conjures a sinister plot" to persuade associates to perjure themselves, but disputes that the evidence provided establishes any tampering. Mueller, in a filing earlier this week, called it attempted witness tampering and asked the judge to consider jailing Manafort as he awaits trial later this summer.
The charges could be an effort by Special Counsel Robert Mueller to induce a guilty plea and secure the testimony of a critical campaign adviser to Trump. There's nothing to pardon. "It's certainly far too early to be thinking about that".
Kilimnik, widely believed to be a former agent for the Kremlin's top intelligence agency, GRU, has been working for Manafort in various capacities since they lobbied for Russia-backed ex-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in the early 2000s.
A spokesperson for Manafort released the following statement in light of the new charges: "Mr. Manafort is innocent and nothing about this latest allegation changes our defense". Manafort's lawyers would find the hard work of trial preparation even more challenging with their client in jail, Zeidenberg said.
Kilimnik, 48, has previously declined to comment on the allegations. The individuals shared communications with prosecutors, the government said.
Kilimnik is believed to be in Moscow and therefore likely safe from arrest, because Russian Federation does not extradite its citizens. Kilimnik has denied such ties.
Lobbying records filed previous year by the firm show that it paid $531,000 to Kilimnik in 2013 and 2014, but that covers only a fraction of the time he worked for Manafort.
Manafort ran the campaign between June and August 2016. Mueller's team is asking a judge to review his house arrest and to consider jailing him. A hearing is set for next week.
The charges against Manafort and Gates don't relate to allegations of misconduct during Trump's campaign. Among other things, they also affect the business partner Manafort of Ukraine Konstantin Kilimnik. It isn't clear yet whether Kilimnik might appear in court in Washington. Prosecutors allege that amounts to trying to get everyone on the same page since everyone involved knew they had lobbied Congress on behalf of Ukraine.
Along with his former business associate Rick Gates, Manafort was initially indicted in October 2017 on multiple counts that included: conspiracy against the USA, conspiracy to launder money, false statements and failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts. "Manafort done it without registration or providing notification, as required by law", - stated in the text. He was actually charged with one count of obstruction, and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice.
Kilimnik wasn't identified by name in the March filing but Bloomberg has confirmed it referred to him.
Kilimnik, a Russian intelligence asset, is now under the protection of Moscow and unlikely to ever see an American court room. 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.
Through a spokesman, Manafort has confirmed the authenticity of the emails but said no briefings occurred.