Mueller accuses Manafort of tampering with potential witnesses

By Daniel Uria  |  June 4, 2018 at 10:22 PM
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June 4 (UPI) -- Special counsel Robert Mueller's office has accused Paul Manafort of attempting to tamper with potential witnesses while on pretrial release, according to a court filing on Monday.

Mueller's team requested that the court revoke or revise Manafort's release conditions and send him to jail until his trial begins for violating the conditions of his release by attempting to tamper with the witnesses, the filing stated.

Prosecutors working for the special counsel's office said Manafort repeatedly contacted two individuals who worked with and assisted in his work with the Hapsburg group, which lobbied on behalf of the Ukraine.

He reached out to the individuals by phone and through an encrypted messaging application and sought to "secure materially false testimony concerning the activities of the Hapsburg group," FBI agent Brock Domin said in the filing.

Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, has pleaded not guilty to charges related to his failure to disclose lobbying work before 2014 on behalf of Ukraine's pro-Russian president at the time, Viktor Yanukovych.

In May, a federal judge rejected his bid to dismiss the criminal indictment against him in the case, asserting the indictment falls squarely within the portion of the authority granted to Mueller to investigate any links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

A federal judge placed Manafort on house arrest Oct. 30, 2017, after he pleaded not guilty to the first series of charges brought by Mueller's investigation. He posted $10 million bond.

He also pleaded not guilty to charges against him and business associate Rick Gates of lying to banks about their business income in order to get more than $20 million in loans.

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