The Latest: Manafort calls new obstruction charges ‘dubious’
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on new charges against Paul Manafort (all times local):
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is calling newly filed obstruction charges “dubious allegations.”
Manafort’s attorneys argue in newly filed court papers that he never asked anyone to provide false testimony.
They also say the allegations that he and an associate tampered with witnesses involved in his criminal case are based on “scant” evidence. The attorneys say Manafort was just maintaining his innocence in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
The court papers come just hours after a grand jury in Washington returned an indictment charging Manafort and a longtime associate, Konstantin Kilimnik, with obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice.
The witnesses have told investigators that they believed Manafort and Kilimnik were trying to get them to lie about the nature of his Ukrainian political work.
Special counsel Robert Mueller has brought new obstruction charges against President Donald Trump’s campaign chairman and a longtime associate who prosecutors have said has ties to Russian intelligence.
The indictment was unsealed Friday against Paul Manafort and Konstantin Kilimnik just days after prosecutors accused the two men of attempting to tamper with witnesses as Manafort awaits trial on charges related to his foreign lobbying work.
The latest charges increase Manafort’s legal jeopardy if he continues an aggressive battle 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.