Trump's campaign chairman Paul Manafort 'tried to get witnesses to lie'

President Donald Trump asserted his presidential power and escalated his efforts to discredit the special counsel Russia probe Monday declaring he has the “absolute right” to pardon himself

President Donald Trump asserted his presidential power and escalated his efforts to discredit the special counsel Russia probe Monday declaring he has the “absolute right” to pardon himself

If prosecutors introduce the charge at Manafort's trial, "it will change the feel of the case with respect to the judge", said Alex Whiting, a former assistant U.S. attorney from Boston and Washington, DC who is now a professor at Harvard Law School.

The filing says that FBI Special Agent Brock W. Domin's testimony and evidence will show that Manafort attempted to tamper with witnesses.

This is the second time that prosecutors have accused Manafort of violating the terms of his pre-trial release.

An FBI special agent wrote that the communication with witnesses was quote "in an effort to influence their testimony - and to otherwise hide evidence".

The excerpt from the Monday court filing in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia appears below.

Manafort has pleaded not guilty on all of the charges against him.

Because witness tampering is a crime, and Manafort's bail provisions warn that he shouldn't break the law while awaiting trial, the prosecutors argue they have "little confidence that restrictions short of detention will assure Manafort's compliance", the filing said. Specifically, Manafort allegedly told Person D1 on February 26, "We should talk".

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The former chairman of the Trump presidential campaign has been charged with attempting to influence witnesses in his trial for money laundering.

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.

The Russia special counsel has submitted a filing claiming that Manafort tried to contact multiple witness to influence their testimony. Manafort stepped down in August of that year after media reports of his dealings with the Ukraine government emerged.

A Russian citizen born in Ukraine, Kilimnik worked for Manafort in Kiev first as a translator and later as the in-country operator of Manafort's operations. His ally, Donald Trump, has been distancing himself from Manafort while simultaneously seeming to suggest that there is a pardon waiting for him, should he remain loyal.

Manafort's attorneys did not respond to a request for comment Monday night.

Mr Trump tweeted he would never have chosen Mr Manafort as campaign chairman and chief strategist if he had known that then-FBI director "Jim Comey and the boys were doing a number on him".

Manafort has a long history of murky financial dealings and ties to pro-Russian interests and allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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