Russia’s foreign ministry is citing a factual error in the indictment against Paul Manafort as evidence of a “cooked up” case against President Trump’s former campaign chairman.
Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Monday said that the 31-page indictment wrongly calling Yulia Tymoshenko as Ukraine’s former president undermines its seriousness.
“I liked a lot the bit that, it turns out, according to the recent findings of American enforcers, the Ukrainian president before [Viktor] Yanukovych was Yulia Tymoshenko,” she said, according to NBC News.
“We did not know that, but there you go,” Zakharova added on the state-owned Russia 1 television station.
“This is a very important moment showing the way how, once again, this document has been made, cooked up. You understand when you talk about [a] serious investigation one cannot allow things like that.”
Tymoshenko twice served as Ukraine’s prime minister before getting jailed in 2011 on embezzlement charges that the U.S. and others said were politically motivated.
Manafort and his former business partner Rick Gates were named in a 12-count indictment that was first unsealed Monday.
The pair are accused of charges including conspiracy against the U.S., money laundering and being an unregistered foreign agent.
The two men are also charged with seven counts of failing to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.
“[They] lobbied multiple members of Congress and their staffs about Ukraine sanctions, the validity of Ukraine elections, and the propriety of Yanukovych’s imprisoning his presidential rival, Yulia Tymoshenko (who had served as Ukraine president prior to Yanukovych,” the indictment states.
The indictment adds that Manafort and Gates generated tens of millions of dollars from their lobbying work in Ukraine.
Manafort and Gates were charged as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential race.
Trump has repeatedly called the probe – which includes potential collusion between Russia and his election bid – a “witch hunt” against him and his administration.
Here's what you need to know about the Manafort indictment.