Within the late Friday submitting, Manafort’s legal professionals mentioned the particular counsel’s allegations of witness tampering “conjures a sinister plot” to influence associates to perjure themselves, however disputes that the proof offered establishes any tampering. As well as, the submitting says, Manafort’s proper to a good trial by neutral jury “could have been irreparably broken by the Particular Counsel’s newest, very public and really specious, submitting of this movement.”
“Mr. Manafort requested nobody to supply a false affidavit or false testimony at trial, or perjure themselves, and he has not given — nor supplied to provide — any potential witness something in change for false testimony,” the response mentioned.
On Monday, Mueller requested a Washington, DC, federal choose to ship Manafort to jail for allegedly trying to get witnesses to lie for him in court docket.
The particular counsel’s workforce alleged one witness advised investigators that Manafort wished them to commit perjury a few lobbying effort they labored on for him in the US.
Manafort is at the moment out on home arrest and a $10 million unsecured bail. He awaits a trial in Virginia that’s scheduled for late July and a trial in DC scheduled to start in September. He has pleaded not responsible to costs associated to his failure to reveal his US lobbying work for a overseas authorities and to financial institution fraud and different monetary crimes.
The brand new costs accuse Manafort of “repeatedly” contacting two nameless individuals who could also be witnesses towards him. Manafort and a confidante — later revealed to be Konstantin Kilimnik in a brand new indictment launched Friday — requested the 2 former enterprise associates to assert lobbying work they did for Ukraine solely occurred in Europe, and never in the US. Prosecutors allege that quantities to attempting to get everybody on the identical web page since everybody concerned knew they’d lobbied Congress on behalf of Ukraine.
Manafort’s attorneys mentioned Friday the brand new costs on primarily based on slim proof: an 84-second cellphone name and textual content messages between Manafort and the 2 former enterprise associates.
They argue the restricted quantity of communications “can’t be pretty learn, both factually or legally, to mirror an intent to corruptly affect a trial witness.”
“From a scant report, the Particular Counsel conjures a sinister plot to ‘corruptly persuade’ two of Mr. Manafort’s former enterprise associates to perjure themselves on the upcoming trial in September,” their submitting mentioned. “Nonetheless, displays hooked up to the Particular Counsel’s submitting assist the defendant’s place that the mission and work of the so-called Hapsburg Group was European-focused and that the textual content messages cited by the Particular Counsel don’t set up any witness tampering.”
“Mr. Manafort’s Sixth Modification proper to trial by an neutral jury on this district could have been irreparably broken by the Particular Counsel’s newest, very public and really specious, submitting of this movement,” Manafort’s attorneys’ response mentioned.
CNN’s Katelyn Polantz contributed to this story.