He’s lucky his patron-once-removed is willing to use the pardon power to obstruct justice:
The Special Counsel’s Office has accused Paul Manafort of attempting to shape potential witnesses’ testimony and has asked to send him to jail as he awaits his trial, according to a filing in DC District Court on Monday night.
Manafort is currently out on house arrest and a $10 million unsecured bail, and is awaiting a trial in Virginia scheduled for late July and a trial in DC scheduled to begin in September. He has pleaded not guilty to charges related to his failure to disclose his lobbying work for a foreign government.
Tampering with a witness is a crime in itself — and it’s one Manafort has not yet been charged with.
Manafort’s lawyers did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment Monday night.
While never naming the people who were allegedly contacted by Manafort, prosecutors say Manafort “repeatedly contacted” two people who worked for him and previously assisted in his lobbying and public relations efforts for Ukrainian politicians. Manafort sought to “secure materially false testimony concerning the activities of” an influential group of European leaders, called the Hapsburg group, that Manafort once used to lobby on behalf of Ukraine, the prosecutors say.
After Manafort’s charges were adjusted in DC federal court related to his lobbying work in late February — on the same day Rick Gates pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about the group — Manafort called one of the people’s cell phones and texted the person encrypted messages, prosecutors say. “We should talk. I have made clear that they worked in Europe,” Manafort’s text said. He also called the person twice the week after Gates’ plea, according to prosecutors.