Robert Mueller accuses ex-Donald Trump aide of witness tampering

Jun 06, 2018, 08:49 IST | Agencies

Donald Trump's ex-campaign manager tried to secure false testimony while on bail, prosecutors allege

(Right) Robert Mueller, who is investigating alleged Russian election interference, said Paul Manafort (left) had contacted people related to his money laundering and tax fraud case. Pics/AFP
(Right) Robert Mueller, who is investigating alleged Russian election interference, said Paul Manafort (left) had contacted people related to his money laundering and tax fraud case. Pics/AFP

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort made several attempts to tamper with witnesses in his ongoing criminal cases, prosecutors said as they asked a federal judge to consider jailing him while he awaits trial.

In a court filing, prosecutors working for special counsel Robert Mueller wrote that Manafort and one of his associates "repeatedly" contacted two witnesses in an effort to influence their testimony.

The contacts occurred earlier this year, shortly after a grand jury returned a new indictment against Manafort. The filing marks the second time that Mueller's team has accused Manafort of violating a judge's order in the case. Last year, federal agents discovered that Manafort was attempting to ghostwrite an opinion piece in Ukraine even though he was under a gag order in the case.

In the latest court documents, prosecutors say that while he was under house arrest, Manafort and his associate attempted to get two witnesses to lie about the nature of lobbying and public relations work they carried out at Manafort's direction on behalf of Ukraine. However, Manafort has denied any wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty.

US official charged with attempted espionage
An official from the US Defence Intelligence Agency was charged with selling US secrets to China in exchange for at least $800,000. The Justice Department said Ron Rockwell Hansen, 58, of Syracuse, Utah, was taken into custody on Saturday while on his way to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Washington state to board a flight to China, carrying classified information.

Trump vows US will be stronger on trade
President Donald Trump faced pushback yesterday from Republican lawmakers, an influential GOP group and foreign leaders over his tough negotiations that are hitting China, Canada and Mexico with tariffs amid fears of a trade war. But, the president defended his actions saying the US would soon be in a stronger position with its top trading partners. Trump wrote in a series of tweets that his trade negotiations with China and a slew of US allies would break down large trade barriers faced by American farmers.

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