Federal prosecutors on Monday accused President Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, of attempting to tamper with witnesses in his federal tax and money laundering case. In court documents, prosecutors working for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, said that violated the terms of Mr. Manafort’s release while he awaits trial. They asked a federal judge to revise those terms or send him to jail until trial.
Mr. Manafort apparently tried to contact witnesses by phone, through a 3rd party, and by using WhatsApp. One witness told the F.B.I. that Mr. Manafort was trying to “suborn perjury.” When that witness avoided him or hung up, prosecutors said, Mr. Manafort worked through an unidentified intermediary. Prosecutors provided the judge a summary of contacts that they said were made from February to April, while Mr. Manafort was under house arrest on a $10 million bond.
It is not clear exactly how the authorities learned of the communications, but prosecutors said that the witnesses provided them with copies of the messages in recent weeks. Mr. Mueller’s team has previously complained about Mr. Manafort’s actions while he awaits trial. Prosecutors said last year that Mr. Manafort and a longtime associate with ties to Russian intelligence helped draft an op-ed article about his lobbying work.
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