They said nothing governing the terms of their client's pretrial release prevents him from having contact with anyone, that the apps, which encrypt messages, that Manafort used are commonplace and that he'd asked no one to produce a false affidavit or false testimony at trial. In addition, the filing says, Manafort's right to a fair trial by impartial jury "may have been irreparably damaged by the Special Counsel's latest, very public and very specious, filing of this motion".
In the days that followed and through April, Manafort and Kilimnik suggested the two witnesses who worked on the Hapsburg group project say the group focused on Europe and "never lobbied in the U.S.", according to an encrypted message between Kilimnik and one witness that prosecutors obtained.
The latest charges increase Manafort's legal jeopardy if he continues to refuse to co-operate with prosecutors, and could be an effort by Mueller to induce a guilty plea and secure the testimony of a critical campaign adviser to Trump. It isn't clear yet whether Kilimnik might appear in court in Washington. The spokesman, Jason Maloni, said Friday that Manafort and his attorneys were reviewing the new charges.
And Kilimnik also has been described as the person with "ties to a Russian intelligence service" in court documents relating to two other people in the Manafort-Ukraine business: Manafort's former business partner, Rick Gates, and a London attorney, Alex van der Zwaan. He faces a second trial in Washington, D.C., in September.
Authorities charge that the conduct of Manafort and Kilimnik amounts to witness tampering and have asked a judge to revise or revoke Manafort's bail package.
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Kilimnik, who isn't in the US and didn't immediately respond to a request for comment, has denied any links to Russian intelligence.
Manafort is awaiting trial in federal court in Washington and Alexandria, Virginia.
Manafort has maintained his innocence despite all of the charges brought before him. The individuals shared communications with prosecutors, the government said.
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. "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 Manafort case though focuses on his work between 2004 and 2014 in Ukraine for pro-Russia politicians including former Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovych. His co-defendant Gates pleaded guilty in February and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. Kilimnik also reached out to witnesses in April. Kilimnik has denied such ties. 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.
Manafort's resignation from the campaign was announced on August 19, 2016, after The Times reported that he'd received $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments from Yanukovych's pro-Russian party between 2007 and 2012.