Federal prosecutors accused former Trump presidential campaign chairman Paul Manafort of witness tampering late Monday in his tax and lobbying case and asked a federal judge to consider revoking or revising his release pending trial. This coterie allegedly was dubbed the "Hapsburg" group by Manafort.
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In court documents, including an affidavit by Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Brock W. Domin, prosecutors with Special Counsel Robery S. Mueller III allege Manafort and his associate- referred to only as Person A - tried to contact the two witnesses by phone and through an encrypted messaging program. Former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, after his firing in June, said that Manafort "has been in operational control of the campaign since April 7". "I have made clear that they worked in Europe". In earlier filings, Person A has referred to Konstantin Kilimnik, a longtime Manafort associate who prosecutors have said has ties to Russian intelligence.
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The special counsel's office hit Manafort with a 12-count indictment previous year, which included conspiracy against the United States, tax fraud, and money laundering. 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. But prosecutors say they worked with Manafort in organizing a group of former European officials who lobbied within the United States without registering.
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The special counsel says Manafort's actions violate federal law, and therefore violate the terms of his pretrial release. He has pleaded not guilty to charges related to his failure to disclose his lobbying work for a foreign government.