Special Counsel: “Paul Manafort Tampering With Witnesses”

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Breaking news this evening seen on the Rachel Maddow show, the Special Counsel’s office has filed a motion today in the Paul Manafort case to revoke his bail and place Manafort in jail while he awaits trial due to allegations of witness tampering.

Manafort has been awaiting trial in his federal tax and lobbying case, but has been out on bail, wearing an ankle bracelet and without a passport.

According to the New York Times:

In court documents, prosecutors working for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, said that Mr. Manafort tried to contact witnesses by phone and through an encrypted messaging program.

Prosecutors said that was a violation of Mr. Manafort’s release while he awaits trial. They asked a federal judge to revise the terms of his release or revoke it entirely, which would send him to jail until trial.

An F.B.I. agent, Brock W. Domin, swore out an affidavit in support of the motion that stated that at least one witness reported Mr. Manafort’s contact and said that he “appeared to be trying to coach their story about Mr. Manafort’s lobbying practices.”

Not only could this be the basis to revoke Manafort’s bail, but it can obviously become the basis of a new criminal charge, since witness tampering is a felony in and of itself. It would be unbelievably reckless for Manafort to contact anyone but his legal team to discuss the case, and the “encryption” part (which has not been flushed out yet) is bizarre. How could he not know he would be watched from 50 directions?

Manafort may well be counting upon one of those pardons that seems to be freely flowing from the Oval Office nowadays.

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