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Manafort Associate Konstantin Kilimnik Indicted In Mueller Probe

Paul Manafort appears to be running out of ways to combat a key charge in the Mueller probe

Paul Manafort's legal team pushes back against Special Counsel Robert Mueller, after fresh obstruction charges were put on him.

Kilimnik, 48, of Moscow, is the 20th person to face charges in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

The indictment, filed by Mueller in District of Columbia federal court, included new counts against Trump's former campaign chair Paul Manafort and the operative, Manafort aide Konstantin Kilimnik, for tampering with witnesses about their lobbying for Ukraine.

Although Kilimnik denies it, Mueller's first indictment alleges that he had ties to Russian intelligence as late as 2016.

Mueller has accused Manafort of attempting to call, text and send encrypted messages in February to two people from "The Hapsburg Group", a political discussion group he allegedly worked with to promote the interests of Ukraine, in an effort to influence their testimony or hide evidence in the case. Four people, including Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, have pleaded guilty.

"From a scant record, the special counsel conjures a sinister plot to "corruptly persuade" two of Mr. Manafort's former business associates to perjure themselves at the upcoming trial in September". He joined the Russian Army as a translator, work that closely aligned him with the army's intelligence services - an account pieced together from a handful of people who worked with him or were briefed on his background, including a former senior CIA official with direct knowledge of Kilimnik's activities.

As additional criminal charges, they pose additional threat to Manafort and would extend his jail sentence if convicted - rather than simply affecting the conditions of his bail.

Mueller's office has already charged Manafort with conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, and false statements.

Earlier this week Mr Manafort was accused of witness tampering. One of them told investigators that he "understood Manafort's outreach to be an effort to "suborn perjury" since he knew that part of the firm was in fact trying to influence opinion within the U.S.

Mueller's team is asking the Washington, D.C., federal court to revoke Manafort's current $10 million bail and is asking that the court "promptly schedule the hearing called for by the statute to determine Manafort's release status". 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.

Perhaps more important is that an alleged line from the Russian government to the Trump campaign could be getting clearer.