This has not escaped the attention of Judge T.S. Ellis, who is presiding over Mueller's case against Manafort in a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia. The government accuses Manafort of dodging taxes, failing to register as a foreign agent while working in Washington on behalf of foreign governments, and other charges.
They said Kilimnik may have reported to Russian intelligence officers in Moscow or Kiev or both on his work at the International Republican Institute office in Moscow where he was employed for a decade to 2005 and later on his work for Manafort in Ukraine.
Gates reached a plea deal in February and agreed to cooperate with the special counsel investigation.
Manafort's lawyers also claimed that he can not tamper with witnesses evidence because he doesn't know who Special Counsel Robert Mueller will call as a witness.
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 messages allegedly sent on WhatsApp were then backed up on Manafort's iCloud, according to prosecutors. The article said, among other things, that the Hapsburg Group worked in the USA and in Europe. However, exhibits attached to the Special Counsel's filing support the defendant's position that the mission and work of the so-called Hapsburg Group was European-focused and that the text messages cited by the Special Counsel do not establish any witness tampering. A witness told investigators recently that Manafort wanted them to commit perjury about a lobbying effort they worked on for him in the United States, a filing in DC District Court said.
Legal experts say Manafort's alleged efforts to convince witnesses to assert that the Hapsburg Group had only been active in Europe would have allowed Manafort to argue he had not violated FARA. Kilimnik, who prosecutors say lives in Moscow, was not in US custody Friday.
The new charges against both men - known as a superseding indictment - alleges that they sought to tamper with witnesses ahead of Mr Manafort's trial next month. "Indeed, previously", Manafort said.
Manafort is now under house arrest, awaiting trials scheduled for Virginia and Washington, D.C., later this year. "I've never had someone try to influence the witnesses in the case before trial", he said. He remains charged with money laundering, illegal foreign lobbying and lying to federal officials. "But he could always get a pardon, so all bets are off".