05 June, 2018
According to a motion filed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office, Manafort contacted witnesses by phone and an encrypted text messaging app in an attempt to secure "materially false testimony". The court filing says that Manafort reportedly sought to alert the second witness about the direction the case was taking. The contacts occurred while Manafort was under house arrest, the Federal Bureau of Investigation wrote in one court filing.
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. Then he wrote: "We should talk".
The FBI said that it had obtained statements from both of the witnesses as well as telephone records and documents Manafort stored on a cloud service, which show his communications with the witnesses. Evidence included documents and testimony from the two PR people, as well as phone records and "documents recovered pursuant to a court-authorized search of Manafort's iCloud account", according to a declaration from an Federal Bureau of Investigation agent involved in the case.
Former House Speaker and Trump ally Newt Gingrich warned President Trump against pardoning himself should special counsel Robert Mueller pursue charges in the ongoing Russian Federation investigation, telling "CBS This Morning" on Tuesday that it would be an "arrogant statement of power" if he did so.
He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The excerpt from the Monday court filing in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia appears below.
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According to a February indictment, Manafort in 2012 and 2013 used offshore accounts to wire more than 2 million euros to pay the former politicians, who were described as independent actors instead of paid lobbyists.
Manafort has been indicted for financial crimes related to his work as a lobbyist for foreign actors.
Mueller's team claims Manafort has been engaged in a witness tampering, and therefore violated the conditions of his release.
Despite the various indictments, Manafort has been out on bail and under house arrest, because he's being treated as a wealthy white man instead of a poor minority. He is facing charges of tax fraud and money laundering.
"Prosecutors say Manafort directed the group's work and secretly funneled about $2 million to it to take positions favorable to Ukraine including by lobbying in the US", the news agency says.
Trump has denied collusion with Russian Federation and called Mueller's investigation a "witch hunt".