Paul Manafort

Manafort Accused of Witness Tampering

Special counsel Robert Mueller said in a court filing that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort has attempted to tamper with potential witness, Reuters reports.

New York Times: “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.”

Manafort Allies Launch Defense Fund

“Self-described friends of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort are launching a defense fund to help pay the mounting legal bills he’s incurring as a result of two looming criminal cases brought by special counsel Robert Mueller,” Politico reports.

From the website: “The Defense Fund is urging anyone who values civil liberties and wishes to show the ‘Deep State’ that they cannot exert their will on ordinary citizens, to join them in supporting the Manafort family as they grapple against the Special Counsel to clear their name.”

Manafort’s Former Son-In-Law Flips

“The former son-in-law of Paul Manafort, the one-time chairman of President Trump’s campaign, has cut a plea deal with the Justice Department that requires him to cooperate with other criminal probes,” Reuters reports.

“The guilty plea agreement, which is under seal and has not been previously reported, could add to the legal pressure on Manafort, who is facing two indictments brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in his probe of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.”

The Wall Street Journal says Jeffrey Yohai plead guilty in January and has been cooperating ever since.

Manafort Was Questioned by FBI Before Trump Campaign

“Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was interviewed by the FBI twice while he was working as a political consultant for a Ukrainian political party — several years before he was named a top adviser to Donald Trump,” the Washington Post reports.

“The information raises fresh questions about how closely the Trump campaign vetted staff members and whether Manafort and Gates told officials about their interactions with the FBI.”

Manafort Suspected of Being ‘Back Channel’ to Russia

“Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s interest in former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort stemmed in part from his suspected role as a ‘back channel’ between the campaign and Russians intent on meddling in the election,” Bloomberg reports.

“The disclosure by U.S. prosecutors came Thursday during a hearing on whether Mueller exceeded his authority in indicting Manafort on charges of laundering millions of dollars while acting as an unregistered agent of the Ukrainian government. Manafort’s lawyers say those alleged crimes have nothing to do with Mueller’s central mission — to determine whether anyone in the Trump campaign had links to the Russian government.”

“Prosecutors hadn’t previously used such explicit language to describe their suspicions about Manafort.”

Second Paul Manafort Associate Has Turned on Him

Daily Beast: “Former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort has trouble in his own house. According to court documents, one of Manafort’s former employees led an FBI agent to a storage locker filled with paperwork on Manafort’s businesses and finances. The person’s name is redacted from the filings. But he’s now at the center of a fight over evidence that could play a significant role in the government’s case against Manafort.”

“This makes the second Manafort associate known to have aided the government in the sprawling investigation into foreign influence in U.S. politics. Rick Gates, Manafort’s long-time right hand, began cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office in February.”

Manafort Moves to Suppress Evidence In Storage Locker

“Lawyers for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort are arguing that what could be key evidence against him should be kept out of court because the FBI violated his Constitutional rights by illegally entering a storage locker belonging to Manafort’s firm,” Politico reports.

“The FBI first got into the Alexandria, Va. storage unit last May with the assistance of an employee who worked at two or more of Manafort’s companies, an agent told the federal magistrate judge who issued the warrant. Then, the agent used what he saw written on so-called Banker’s Boxes and the fact there was a five-drawer filing cabinet to get permission to return and seize many of the records.”

Mueller Authorized to Investigate Manafort Collusion

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein “told special counsel Robert Mueller in a classified August 2, 2017, memo that he should investigate allegations that President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was ‘colluding with Russian government officials’ to interfere in the 2016 presidential election,” CNN reports.

“Mueller was also empowered by Rosenstein to investigate Manafort’s payments from Ukrainian politicians, a cornerstone of the Trump adviser’s decades-long lobbying career that has resulted in several financial criminal charges so far.”

“The revelation of the August 2 memo comes amid a broader court filing from Mueller’s prosecutors that offers a full-throated defense of their investigative powers and indictments thus far.”

Why Manafort Isn’t Talking

Harry Litman: “The most enduring mystery to date in special counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry has been former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s obdurate refusal to cooperate with the investigation. Manafort has a reputation as a swashbuckling gambler, but he has been playing odds in the biggest game of his life that are not just long but prohibitive. A new report that the president’s now-former lawyer once discussed pardoning Manafort may finally explain why the latter has kept quiet — even though that bet is still incredibly risky.”

“Manafort’s refusal to cooperate can’t be driven by a rational calculation that he has any reasonable chance of escaping conviction, multimillion-dollar legal fees and a prison sentence that will result in years behind bars.”

Manafort Steps Up Challenge to Mueller Indictment

Paul Manafort asked a federal court “to toss out 18 criminal charges against him in Virginia, sharpening his challenge to the legitimacy of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election,” the Washington Post reports.

“The pretrial motions to dismiss an indictment intensified a legal attack mounted by Manafort in a lawsuit in January. In that lawsuit, Manafort contends Mueller has exceeded his legal authority and is asking to void the Justice Department’s appointment of him.”

Manafort Again Challenges Mueller’s Appointment

Paul Manafort “asked a judge to dismiss the criminal case filed against him in federal court in Washington, DC, arguing that special counsel Robert Mueller’s appointment was invalid and that Mueller had exceeded the scope of his authority,” BuzzFeed News reports.

“This is the second time that Manafort has attempted to challenge the lawfulness of Mueller’s appointment last year as special counsel as well as the reach of the special counsel’s investigation. Manafort is separately pursuing a civil lawsuit that raises the same arguments.”

Judge Says Case Against Manafort Is Strong

A federal just said that Paul Manafort “runs a significant risk of spending the rest of his life in prison and the evidence against him by special counsel Robert Mueller’s office seems strong,” Politico reports.

Said U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis: “Given the nature of the charges against the defendant and the apparent weight of the evidence against him, defendant faces the very real possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison.”

Manafort Now Wears Two Monitoring Bracelets

“Paul Manafort will stay under home confinement after pleading not guilty Thursday to the latest set of charges filed by special counsel Robert Mueller’s office, but now he’ll wear two GPS monitoring bracelets, instead of just one,” BuzzFeed News reports.

“He made his first appearance in the Alexandria courthouse on Thursday afternoon. US District Judge T.S. Ellis III ruled Manafort could be released pending trial, subject to home confinement and electronic monitoring, the same conditions he’s under in DC. A Virginia probation officer explained to the judge that because of limits to the technology, she couldn’t access the data from the DC bracelet, hence the need for two.”