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Mueller says Manafort tried to tamper with witnesses, hide evidence

Mueller says Manafort tried to tamper with witnesses, hide evidence”

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort made several attempts to tamper with witnesses in his ongoing criminal cases, prosecutors said Monday as they asked a federal judge to consider revoking his house arrest.

In court documents, including an affidavit by Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Brock Domin, prosecutors with special counsel Robert Mueller allege Manafort and his associate tried to contact the two witnesses by phone and through an encrypted messaging program.

The filing says: "The government confirmed that these messages were sent by Manafort, upon review of Manafort's iCloud account pursuant to a court-authorized search".

Prosecutors asked that the judge overseeing his case "revoke or revise" the order releasing him ahead of trial. Prosecutors say the contacts occurred earlier this year while Manafort was confined to his home.

The filing argued that Manafort's attempts at contact were "in an effort to influence their testimony and to otherwise hide evidence", and that the probe into the matter was still ongoing.

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

"I've seen this kind of witness tampering hundreds of times", the veteran former prosecutor said.

Manafort faces two indictments in Washington, D.C., and Virginia on charges related to tax fraud and other financial crimes.

On Sunday, Trump complained that the FBI didn't inform him that his own campaign chairman was under investigation during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Also that week, on February 23, Manafort's longtime deputy Rick Gates agreed to plead guilty to charges of conspiracy and lying to investigators and would cooperate with prosecutors, making Manafort's case an even more hard one to overcome.

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In previous filings, Person A has been used to designate Konstantin Kilimnik, a Manafort associate who prosecutors believe has ties to Russian intelligence - something Kilimnik has denied.

Manafort allegedly paid the group some $2.5 million in 2012 and 2013 alone. If prosecutors introduce the charge at Manafort's trial, "it will change the feel of the case with respect to the judge", said Alex Whiting, a former assistant USA attorney from Boston and Washington, DC who is now a professor at Harvard Law School.

Two witnesses reportedly submitted texts to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

If the special counsel Robert Mueller has enough evidence to prove Manafort did what he has been accused of, there are three reasons it could strike a blow to his defense, and also spell trouble for Trump.

Manafort worked for the Trump campaign between March and August of 2016.

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