Mueller accuses Paul Manafort of witness tampering

Federal prosecutors accuse Manafort of attempting to contact witnesses by phone and through encrypted messaging apps.

by VICE News
Jun 5 2018, 1:39am

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has asked a judge to revoke Paul Manafort's bail, accusing President Trump's former campaign manager of tampering with witnesses in the federal tax and money laundering case against him.

In documents filed with the court Monday night, federal prosecutors accused Manafort of attempting to contact witnesses by phone and through encrypted messaging apps, violating the conditions of his $10 million bail.

Manafort, who served as Trump's campaign chairman from May to August 2016, was indicted by a federal grand jury in October on 12 counts of conspiracy against the United States, money laundering, failing to register as a foreign agent, making false statements, and other charges.

The motion accuses Manafort of reaching out to an unnamed intermediary known as "D1" by an encrypted app in February stating "this is Paul."

"The government’s evidence establishes probable cause that Manafort violated the witness-tampering statute both through his direct outreach to Person D1 and his intermediary’s outreaches to Persons D1 and D2," the government alleges. "As a result, Manafort violated the condition of release requiring that he not commit any federal, state, or local crime."

Over the past few weeks, Trump has both attempted to minimize Manafort's involvement in his campaign in 2016 and accuse the FBI of not informing him that Manafort was under investigation for his contacts with Russian nationals.

Read the motion here:

Cover image: Paul Manafort, former campaign manager for Donald Trump, waves while exiting federal court in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, May 23, 2018. (Photographer: Aaron P. Bernstein/Bloomberg via Getty Images)