Mueller accuses Manafort of witness tampering

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US Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team of prosecutors have claimed that President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort attempted to contact witnesses by phone via an intermediary and by means of encrypted messages in a federal tax and money laundering case, the New York Times reported, citing the court documents.

The filings mark the second time prosecutors have complained to the judge about Manafort's behavior awaiting trial.

If a judge were to revoke Manafort's bail conditions and order him to jail pending his two trials this summer, that would intensify the pressure on him to reach a plea deal with prosecutors.

The communications were "in an effort to influence their testimony and to otherwise hide evidence", Mr. Domin wrote.

One minute after sending the news article, Manafort wrote: "We should talk".

The government has not charged Manafort with the crime of witness-tampering or obstruction of justice.

Manafort messaged and called one of the witnesses the day after his codefendant and business partner, Rick Gates, pleaded guilty and continued reaching out over the next several days, according to a sworn affidavit filed by an Federal Bureau of Investigation agent in the case.

The former chairman of President Donald Trump's presidential campaign is facing accusations of trying to tamper with witnesses in his ongoing criminal cases.


Manafort previously denied all charges.

According to a February indictment, Manafort in 2012 and 2013 used offshore accounts to wire more than 2 million euros to pay the former politicians, who were described as independent actors instead of paid lobbyists.

If only there had been same way for the Trump campaign to know that Manafort, a resident of Trump Tower-who'd made his fortune as a political consultant to dictators and had largely been absent from Republican politics for two decades-was involved in some shady business.

The motion alleges that Mr Manafort sent messages to two members of "The Hapsburg Group", a lobbying firm he worked with to promote the interests of Ukraine. "I have made clear that they worked in Europe".

Despite the various indictments, Manafort has been out on bail and under house arrest, because he's being treated as a wealthy white man instead of a poor minority.

Mueller has recently been dialling up the legal pressure on Manafort, who has opted not to co-operate with investigators.

The case is being brought by Robert Mueller, the special counsel leading an investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian Federation. He has pleaded not guilty to charges related to his failure to disclose his USA lobbying work for a foreign government and to bank fraud and other financial crimes.

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