Prosecutors seek to revoke Paul Manafort's bail

Image: Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort attends a motion hearin
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort departs from a motion hearing at the federal court house in Washington on May 23, 2018. Copyright Shawn Thew EPA file
Copyright Shawn Thew EPA file
By Tom Winter and Alex Johnson with NBC News Politics
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The FBI says Trump's former campaign manager tried to "suborn perjury" from potential witnesses.


WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors asked a judge Monday night to revoke bail for Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, alleging that he tried to tamper with potential witnesses while on pretrial release.

If the judge agrees, Manafort would likely have to go to jail pending his trial in connection with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.

According to an FBI affidavit included with the motion, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., Manafort used encrypted messaging applications in February to try to reach two unnamed business partners who could be witnesses to his alleged fraud and money laundering.

One of the potential witnesses said he or she believed Manafort's outreach was an attempt to "suborn perjury" or to instruct the witness to lie after a superseding indictment was filed in February against Manafort when his co-defendant, Rick Gates, a former Trump campaign aide, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and lying to Mueller's investigators.

Gates and Manafort had been indicted together in October in Washington on charges related to their lucrative lobbying work for pro-Russian Ukrainian political figures.

After Gates agreed to cooperate with investigators in February, Manafort pleaded not guilty to the superseding indictment, which accuses him of having secretly recruited and funded a group of former European politicians to lobby in the United States on Ukraine's behalf; trial has been set for Sept. 17.

This is a developing story. Refresh this page for updates.

Tom Winter reported from Washington. Alex Johnson reported from Los Angeles.

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