The Special Counsel’s Office have accused Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign manager, of attempting to tamper with potential witnesses’ testimony and have asked to send him to jail or to revise his house arrest deal, as he awaits trial according to a filing in DC District Court, CNN reported Monday night.
Currently Manafort is out on house arrest while awaiting trial, in Virginia, which is set to start in July, and another trail set for September, in Washington, D.C. on a myriad of charges, including conspiracy against the United States.
CNN reports that one of the people told investigators that Manafort’s attempts to reach out to them was “an effort to get them to relay a message to the Hapsburg group,” and that “if the members of the Hapsburg group were contacted by anyone, they should say that their lobbying work was only in Europe and not in the United States,” prosecutors wrote in their filing.
“The evidence set forth below and in the attached declaration of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent Brock W. Domin establishes probable cause to believe that Manafort has violated 18 U.S.C. § 1512(b)(1) by attempting to tamper with potential witnesses while on pretrial release and, accordingly, has violated the conditions of his release.”
It goes on to say the above is a violation of his conditional release. Manafort was arraigned, released to the Pretrial Agency, subject to the condition of house arrest and a 10 million dollar bond.
He was ordered not to commit any criminal offense nor violate the release order.
“2. Manafort’s Attempts to Influence Potential Witnesses”
“Following the public disclosure of the February 23 Superseding Indictment, Manafort and Person A—who is a longtime associate of Manafort’s repeatedly contacted Persons D1 and D2 in an effort to secure materially false testimony concerning the activities of the Hapsburg group. Neither Person D1 nor D2 had had any recent contact with Manafort or Person A. But after the Superseding Indictment was publicly disclosed, Manafort called Person D1 on Persons D1’s cellular phone. Person D1 sought to avoid Manafort, so Person D1 ended the call.”
The filing is eighteen pages long and concludes, “For the foregoing reasons, the government moves the Court to conduct a hearing pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3148(b) and to revoke or revise its current Order authorizing Manafort’s release to the Pretrial Services Agency’s high-intensity supervision program.”
This is a developing story and there will be more to follow.