Mueller says Manafort tried to tamper with witnesses, hide evidence


Mueller has asked a federal judge to jail Manafort or alter the terms of his pretrial release after accusing him of witness tampering - and a former federal prosecutor told MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle just how bad things have gotten for the former Trump campaign chairman.

In court documents, prosecutors with Special Counsel Robert Mueller allege that Manafort and his associate - referred to only as Person A - tried to contact the two witnesses by phone and through an encrypted messaging program.

Because witness tampering is a crime, and Manafort's bail provisions warn that he shouldn't break the law while awaiting trial, the prosecutors argue they have "little confidence that restrictions short of detention will assure Manafort's compliance", the filing said.

FBI agent Brock Domin said that one of the public relations firm's executives identified as Person D1 told the government he "understood Manafort's outreach to be an effort to "suborn perjury" " by encouraging others to lie to federal investigators by concealing the firm's work in the United States.

On February 26, Manafort is said to have sent a string of messages to one of his contacts. "Basically P wants to give him a quick summary that he says to everybody (which is true) that our friends never lobbied in the U.S".

Mueller has indicted Manafort in federal courts in Virginia and Washington, D.C., with an array of allegations from money-laundering and failing to register as a foreign agent, to bank and tax fraud.

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

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Manafort has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

You can view the court filings here. But prosecutors say they worked with Manafort in organizing a group of former European officials, known as the Hapsburg Group, who promoted Ukrainian interests in Europe as well as the U.S.

When senior members of the Trump campaign, including Manafort, met with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower who was offering dirt on then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Amid threats of a potential subpoena for Mr. Trump to appear before the special counsel's team for an interview in the Russian Federation investigation, Gingrich said such a subpoena would lead to a Supreme Court testing.

Schiff, who is the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, called Manafort's alleged actions "desperate", and suggested the former Trump campaign aide is anxious about his legal fate.

Manafort and his associate, who is also unidentified by name, allegedly hinted the two should indicate that the lobbying, involving a group of pro-Ukraine European politicians nicknamed the "Hapsburg group", took place in Europe, not the United States.