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    Mueller and His Team Accuse Manafort of Witness Tampering

    Mueller and His Team Accuse Manafort of Witness Tampering

    Request revocation or revision of Manafort’s pretrial release

    In a court filing Monday, U.S. Special Counselor accused former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort of tampering with potential witnesses.

    From Reuters:

    FBI Special Agent Brock Domin, in a declaration filed with Mueller’s motion, said Manafort had attempted to call, text and send encrypted messages in February to two people from “The Hapsburg Group,” a firm he worked with to promote the interests of Ukraine.

    The FBI has documents and statements from the two people, as well as telephone records and documents recovered through a search of Manafort’s iCloud account showing that Trump’s former campaign manager attempted communication while he was out on bail, according to Domin.

    The communications were “in an effort to influence their testimony and to otherwise conceal evidence,” Domin wrote. “The investigation into this matter is ongoing.”

    “In one call, the agent wrote, Manafort said he wanted to give the person a “heads-up about Hapsburg.” The individual then hung up “because he was concerned about the outreach,” according to the affidavit,” reports Yahoo.

    On Feb. 26, Manafort sent the person a series of messages through an encrypted application, including a link to a Business Insider story with the headline: “Former European leaders struggle to explain themselves after Mueller claims Paul Manafort paid them to lobby for Ukraine.” Another message said, “We should talk. I have made clear that they worked in Europe.”

    The person told investigators that he interpreted Manafort’s efforts to reach him as a way to influence his potential statements. The person believed from his experience that the Hapsburg Group lobbied in the United States and knew that Manafort knew that as well, the agent wrote.

    Manafort is currently under house arrest. Mueller and his team have asked the U.S. District Court in D.C. to revoke or revise Manafort’s pretrial release. Manafort pled not guilty to an “array of allegations from money-laundering and failing to register as a foreign agent, to bank and tax fraud.”

    This is the latest accusation by Mueller’s team that hasn’t a thing to do with their charge of investigating alleged Trump/Russia collusion.

    Back in February, Professor Jacobson blogged:

    Because Manafort was associated with the Trump campaign, he has come under the watch of Robert Mueller.

    If that had not happened, Manafort likely would have lived his life as an ordinary civilian. Instead, Manafort’s life has come under intense prosecutorial scrutiny.

    There allegedly was a dirty underside to Manafort’s business practices having nothing to do with Mueller’s charge to investigate Russian meddling in the election and alleged Trump campaign collusion.

    …If Manafort doesn’t have any incriminating information about Trump, he’s in the worst of all positions. He can’t cut a deal to give up something he doesn’t have, and he’s being targeted by a huge and aggressive Mueller team because he was in the wrong place (the Trump campaign) at the wrong time (during part of the 2016 election cycle).

    None of this should be within Mueller’s purview because none of it has anything to do with Russian meddling or alleged collusion. I made this point in an earlier post with regard to the guilty plea of Michael Flynn for lying with regard to post-election transition matters, Why is Robert Mueller even investigating the presidential transition?

    That’s why Manafort has sued in an attempt to reign in Mueller.

    For our previous coverage on Manafort’s legal woes, see here.

    Government’s Motion to revise pre-trial release here:

    Us vs Paul Manafort Pretrial Release by Legal Insurrection on Scribd


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    Cleetus | June 6, 2018 at 6:00 am

    I thought the government outlawed torture?

    Arminius | June 6, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    I can’t really assess the strength of these allegations against Manaforte. But both Meuller and his deputy Weissman are known their complete lack of ethics and their sleazeball tactics.

    “‘Do not misunderstand my disdain for him with ineffectiveness or something not to be concerned with,’ said Dan Cogdell, who represented three Enron defendants. ‘He’s a formable prosecutor. If I’m Donald Trump and I know the backstory of Andrew Weissmann, it’s going to concern me. There is no question about it.’

    …They say he intimidated witnesses by threatening indictments, created crimes that did not exist and, in one case, withheld evidence that could have aided the accused. At one hearing, an incredulous district court judge looked down at an Enron defendant and told him he was pleading guilty to a wire fraud crime that did not exist.

    …Those convictions for which Mr. Wray offered praise in 2004?

    Mr. Weissmann’s cases against Andersen and Merrill Lynch lay in shambles just a few years later.

    The Supreme Court, in a 9-0 vote in 2005, overturned the Andersen conviction. A year later, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals erased all the fraud convictions against four Merrill Lynch managers. The jury had acquitted another defendant.

    “People went off to prison for a completely phantom of a case,” said Mr. Kirkendall.”

    Those four Merrill Lynch managers mentioned above? Weissman was able to send them to prison in lieu of bail for a long time pre-trial. And when I say prison, I don’t mean a county jail, where a defendant normally is held before they’re convicted. No, actual federal prison. And since some of those managers had wives and young children Weissman made sure to send them out of state and as far away so their families could not visit.

    It was all intended to crush their wills because Weissman wanted bigger fish and these men weren’t giving them up. When I heard about Mueller’s charges against Manaforte that was my first thought. Mueller really wants Trump, and Manaforte isn’t rolling over. So Mueller wants to squeeze him by making his life a lot more uncomfortable so Manaforte will tell him what he wants to hear. And frankly neither Mueller or Weissman care if it’s true or not.

    Arminius | June 6, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    “DOJ Defends FBI Deputy Director Andrew Weissmann Against Serious Ethics Charges Pending in NY

    Serious ethical charges against FBI Deputy Director Andrew Weissmann are pending before the First Judicial Department Disciplinary Committee in New York. The charges arise from his role in hiding evidence favorable to the defense when he was a federal prosecutor leading the Enron Task Force. The Department of Justice is handling his defense.

    According to the DOJ, there was no violation of the rules of ethics, even if Weissmann “plainly suppressed” evidence favorable to the defense—as the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Enron Task Force did. Mr. Weissmann, who also serves as General Counsel to the FBI, has pitched his entire ethics defense on the claim that the Rules of Professional Conduct require prosecutors to disclose to the defense team only information that is both favorable and “material.” That may be the standard for reversing a criminal conviction under the Supreme Court’s 1963 decision in Brady v. Maryland, but the ethical rules require more.

    Any notion that the Rules of Professional Conduct merely codify or mirror Brady, and do not press beyond it, would be a major NEWS FLASH to anyone even moderately familiar with legal ethics. The text of the rule (usually a paragraph of Rule 3.8, Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor), explicitly requires prosecutors “to make timely disclosure to the defense of all evidence or information known to the prosecutor that tends to negate the guilt of the accused.” What part of “all” is confusing to the Department of Justice?…”

    Do you want to know how Weissman retained his law license? Without informing the attorneys who had filed the complaint the Disciplinary Commitree handed the case off to the DoJ and asked that its Office of Professional Responsibility resolve the matter.

    Naturally since the DoJ had been defending Weissman against the charges, they quickly decided he was innocent.

    Attorneys, this is how you got your reputation as sleazeballs.

    Mac45 | June 6, 2018 at 10:57 pm

    I thought this was an interesting article on the Manafort
    Witness Tampering claim by the Mueller team.

    I agree that there is little, if any evidence that Manafort made a credible effort to “tamper’ with this witness’ testimony.

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