Just when you think things couldn’t get any worse for Paul Manafort, Special Counsel Robert Mueller releases another indictment against Donald Trump’s former campaign manager.
On Friday, Mueller’s office released its latest superseding indictment against Manafort. The indictment reiterates that Manafort disguised millions of dollars in unreported income via offshore accounts — money Manafort later lied about to the Department of Justice — and that he worked with partner Rick Gates to hide the funds.
However, this superseding indictment specifically names Konstantin Kilimnik, a longtime Manafort confidant and possible Russian intelligence asset, who oversaw the Kiev office of Manafort’s DMI consulting company. The DMI company was used in many of Manafort’s financial schemes, including acting as a conduit for money that would allow Manafort to purchase Manhattan property — money that was recorded as a “loan” instead of income.
Both Manafort and Kilimnik have been charged with obstruction of justice, as well as conspiracy to obstruct justice. This relates to Manafort’s efforts, according to Mueller, to pressure witnesses into giving false testimony. As a result, Mueller has asked Manafort’s bail to be revoked.
But Kilimnik’s involvement goes beyond potentially helping Manafort move millions. According to the indictment, Kilimnik helped Manafort engage “in a multi-million dollar lobbying campaign in the United States” at the direction of former President Viktor Yanukovych, a thuggish, nakedly corrupt leader who was ousted by protesters in 2014. Manafort did not register his work with the Department of Justice, as required by law. Manafort also “developed a false and misleading cover story that would distance” himself from Yanukovych.
Likewise, the new document alleges that Kilimnik also helped Manafort recruit a series of former European politicians, known as the “Hapsburg group,” to lobby for Ukraine without revealing that they were paid lobbyists.
While Kilimnnik’s name has come up relatively consistently in discussions on Manafort’s alleged crimes, he has never been charged by the special counsel’s office before today. The charge adds to the questions about Kilimnik’s actual work — namely, whether he was actually working for Russian intelligence during his time with Manafort. A previous Mueller indictment also named a “Person A,” a colleague of Manafort, as someone with “ties to Russian intelligence,” ties that were “active” during the 2016 election. That person is widely believed to be Kilimnik.