In a court filing Monday, U.S. Special Counselor accused former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort of tampering with potential witnesses.

From Reuters:

FBI Special Agent Brock Domin, in a declaration filed with Mueller’s motion, said Manafort had attempted to call, text and send encrypted messages in February to two people from “The Hapsburg Group,” a firm he worked with to promote the interests of Ukraine.

The FBI has documents and statements from the two people, as well as telephone records and documents recovered through a search of Manafort’s iCloud account showing that Trump’s former campaign manager attempted communication while he was out on bail, according to Domin.

The communications were “in an effort to influence their testimony and to otherwise conceal evidence,” Domin wrote. “The investigation into this matter is ongoing.”

“In one call, the agent wrote, Manafort said he wanted to give the person a “heads-up about Hapsburg.” The individual then hung up “because he was concerned about the outreach,” according to the affidavit,” reports Yahoo.

On Feb. 26, Manafort sent the person a series of messages through an encrypted application, including a link to a Business Insider story with the headline: “Former European leaders struggle to explain themselves after Mueller claims Paul Manafort paid them to lobby for Ukraine.” Another message said, “We should talk. I have made clear that they worked in Europe.”

The person told investigators that he interpreted Manafort’s efforts to reach him as a way to influence his potential statements. The person believed from his experience that the Hapsburg Group lobbied in the United States and knew that Manafort knew that as well, the agent wrote.

Manafort is currently under house arrest. Mueller and his team have asked the U.S. District Court in D.C. to revoke or revise Manafort’s pretrial release. Manafort pled not guilty to an “array of allegations from money-laundering and failing to register as a foreign agent, to bank and tax fraud.”

This is the latest accusation by Mueller’s team that hasn’t a thing to do with their charge of investigating alleged Trump/Russia collusion.

Back in February, Professor Jacobson blogged:

Because Manafort was associated with the Trump campaign, he has come under the watch of Robert Mueller.

If that had not happened, Manafort likely would have lived his life as an ordinary civilian. Instead, Manafort’s life has come under intense prosecutorial scrutiny.

There allegedly was a dirty underside to Manafort’s business practices having nothing to do with Mueller’s charge to investigate Russian meddling in the election and alleged Trump campaign collusion.

…If Manafort doesn’t have any incriminating information about Trump, he’s in the worst of all positions. He can’t cut a deal to give up something he doesn’t have, and he’s being targeted by a huge and aggressive Mueller team because he was in the wrong place (the Trump campaign) at the wrong time (during part of the 2016 election cycle).

None of this should be within Mueller’s purview because none of it has anything to do with Russian meddling or alleged collusion. I made this point in an earlier post with regard to the guilty plea of Michael Flynn for lying with regard to post-election transition matters, Why is Robert Mueller even investigating the presidential transition?

That’s why Manafort has sued in an attempt to reign in Mueller.

For our previous coverage on Manafort’s legal woes, see here.

Government’s Motion to revise pre-trial release here:

Us vs Paul Manafort Pretrial Release by Legal Insurrection on Scribd


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