The financial crime charges that piled up against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort stem from his lobbying work in Ukraine. At the center of the Ukraine arm of his lobbying operation was Konstantin Kilimnik, a business associate of Manafort’s who is now believed to have ties to Russian intelligence officials. Though formally indicted, Kilimnik has not entered a plea, and remains out of reach of U.S. officials.
Kilimnik is a longtime business associate of Manafort’s who was responsible for overseeing the Kiev, Ukraine office of Manafort’s lobbying firm. The two worked on a proposed peace plan for Ukraine.
Kilimnik has been identified by the special counsel as having ties to Russian intelligence.
The Formal Charges:
The special counsel issued three separate indictments against Manafort. In the third, prosecutors implicated Kilimnik for the first time, charging him with conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstruction of justice.
These charges concern communications between Manafort and Kilimnik regarding messages they exchanged with two journalists who were potential witnesses in the case against them.
Though Kilimnik has been indicted, he remains outside of the reach of U.S. law enforcement.
The Alleged Crime:
Kilimnik was a key member of Manafort’s lobbying firm that did work on behalf of since toppled Ukrainian President Viktor Viktor Yanukovych. Manafort was charged with a slew of financial crimes related to his undisclosed lobbying work, and Kilimnik was an essential part of many of the undisclosed lobbying activities.
Though Kilimnik is tied to Manafort’s lobbying activities, the charges he faces are linked largely to an attempt to relay messages from Manafort to potential witnesses in the case against him.
Though Kilimnik was indicted in June, he has not submitted a plea.
When Manafort’s plea agreement began to break down amid accusations that he had lied to special counsel prosecutors, it was revealed that Manafort had lied about some of his interactions with Kilimnik during the lead up to the 2016 presidential election.
It was later revealed that Manafort had shared polling data with Kilimnik during the campaign.