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Tag: paul manafort

In Manafort Case, Encrypted Messages Don’t Mean Much if People Involved in the Conversation Are Snitches

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

How did special counsel Robert Mueller’s people get Paul Manafort’s encrypted messages that suggested he was tampering with witnesses?

In a court filing, Mueller writes that FBI investigators obtained messages that Manafort—who was indicted for money laundering, tax fraud, and other charges in October—sent to witnesses in his case in an attempt to convince them to lie about lobbying work they performed for him, reports Slate magazine.

Manafort allegedly used WhatsApp and Telegram, two security-focused messaging apps that boast end-to-end encryption, Slate notes, adding that ” end-to-end encryption isn’t that useful if one of the people in the conversation is a snitch. The court filing claims that two of the witnesses Manafort were trying to contact simply handed all of his Telegram messages over to the authorities.”

 

Digging A Deeper Hole: Mueller Accuses Paul Manafort of Witness Tampering

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manfort is getting himself in more trouble.

Federal prosecutors on the Robert S. Mueller III team are accusing him of witness tampering and want the judge to consider revoking or revising his release, the Washington Post reports.

Prosecutors accuse Manafort and a longtime associate they linked to Russian intelligence of repeatedly contacting two members of a public relations firm and asking them to falsely testify about secret lobbying they did at Manafort’s behest.

The Post reports:

In court documents, prosecutors with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III allege that Manafort and his associate — referred to only as Person A — tried to contact the two witnesses by phone and through encrypted messaging apps. The description of Person A matches his longtime business colleague in Ukraine, Konstantin Kilimnik.

 

Trump Rips Into Justice Department/FBI for Not Warning Him About Manafort

Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

President Donald Trump, continuing on his Twitter tear, on Sunday questioned why the Justice Department or FBI did not notify him during the campaign that Paul Manafort was under investigation, insisting that Manafort would have never been hired if he had known, CNN reports.

“As only one of two people left who could become President, why wouldn’t the FBI or Department of ‘Justice’ have told me that they were secretly investigating Paul Manafort (on charges that were 10 years old and had been previously dropped) during my campaign?” Trump wrote on Twitter Sunday morning. “Should have told me!”

In a second tweet, CNN reports, Trump downplayed Manafort’s role on his campaign, saying the Republican strategist “came into the campaign very late and was with us for a short period of time,” but “we should have been told that Comey and the boys were doing a number on him, and he wouldn’t have been hired!”

Paul Manafort To Ask Judge to Toss Evidence Seized in FBI Search

Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is battling it out in federal court.

On Wednesday, he plans to ask a federal judge to suppress evidence seized by FBI agents working for Special Counsel Robert Mueller, saying they violated the U.S. Constitution’s ban on unreasonable searches and seizures, Reuters reports.

Manafort’s lawyers are expected to claim in court that FBI agents unlawfully conducted an initial warrantless search of a storage locker housing documents from his consulting company by improperly getting a low-level staffer to unlock it and let a special agent look around, Reuters writes.

Judge Refuses to Toss Special Counsel Case Against Paul Manafort

Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A D.C. federal judge has given special counsel Robert Mueller the green light to continue the case against Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Business Insider reports.

U.S. District Judge Amy Jackson declined on Tuesday to toss the charges against  Manafort, who faces two indictments from the special counsel. Manafort is charged in Virginia and Washington with tax and bank fraud connected to his lobbying work for the Ukrainian government and pro-Russia interests in Ukraine.

The judge ruled the indictment “falls squarely within that portion of the authority granted to the Special Counsel,” the publication reports.

“Given the combination of his prominence within the campaign and his ties to Ukrainian officials supported by and operating out of Russia, as well as to Russian oligarchs, Manafort was an obvious person of interest,” the ruling reads.

Mueller Confirms Manafort Raid Targeted Records on Trump Tower Meeting, Russian Oligarch

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

When FBI agents raided the home of Paul Manafort, the former head of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, last summer, a judge signed off on seizing records related to a previously undisclosed meeting between the campaign and Russian lobbyists at the Trump Tower in June 2016.

Agents walked out with tens of thousands of records, including documents related to a civil lawsuit over a drawn-out dispute with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, Bloomberg reports.

The scope of the search was revealed Monday in a court filing by Robert Mueller’s special counsel team that is investigating possible ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

The disclosure is significant because it means Mueller is focusing on a potential collusion case against members of Trump’s campaign.

Deripaska, who is believed to be close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, hired Manafort as a political consultant and invested $18.9 million with Manafort’s cable-television venture. Deripaska, the billionaire founder and majority shareholder of En+ Group, also paid Manafort $7.35 million in management fees.

When the deal went sour, Deripaska sued.

Deripaska was among the Russians penalized with sanctions last month by the Trump administration.

Manafort, who faces trial on numerous charges related to conspiracy and fraud in connection with his business relationship with pro-Russia, Ukrainian officials. Manafort has pleaded not guilty, while his longtime business partner has agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s investigation as part of a leniency deal in exchange for pleading guilty to some charges.

Roger Stone: Manafort Will Never ‘Roll Over’ on President Trump

Roger Stone on CBS4.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Longtime Donald Trump confidant Roger Stone said the president’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort will not plead guilty or “roll over” on Trump.

Stone told CBS4 that Manafort, who has been charged on numerous counts, including conspiracy and bank fraud, told him he has no plans to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged collusion between Russia and Trump’s campaign to undermine the 2016 presidential election. 

“He’s feisty and combative and he’s not going to plead guilty,” Stone said. “And he’s not going to roll over on this president.”

Manafort’s longtime business associate, Rick Gates, has agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s team and pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy against the U.S. and making false statements to the FBI.

Manafort is expected to face a trial as early as September on one set of charges.

Other Stories of Interest

Memo Reveals Scope of Mueller’s Investigation Against Trump’s ex-Campaign manager Manafort

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Special Counsel Robert Mueller was explicitly authorized by the Justice Department to investigate allegations that President Trump’s former campaign manager colluded with Russia to undermine the 2016 presidential election, according to a newly revealed memo.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein gave Mueller the green light in a classified, Aug. 2 memo that was included in a court filing Monday aimed at defending the special counsel’s scope of the probe, which so far has netted indictments against 19 people and three Russian companies. 

The memo authorized Mueller to look into allegations that the former Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, worked with the Kremlin to meddle in the election “in violation of United States law.” The memo authorized Mueller to look into “a crime or crimes arising out of payments [Manafort] received from the Ukrainian government before and during the tenure of President Viktor Yanukovych.”

Manafort and his business partner, another former Trump campaign aide, were first indicted in October with money-laundering and other charges related to work they did for a pro-Russian political party in the Ukraine. They were charged with additional crimes earlier this year, and Gates has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with prosecutors.

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