Robert Mueller is feeling the pressure.
The special counsel is facing increasing resistance in his politically motivated witch hunt against Donald Trump.
Now he’s turning up the heat on this key Trump advisor by threatening to send him to jail.
Special Counsel Mueller’s team is set to argue before Judge Amy Brennan that Paul Manafort violated the terms of his bail by engaging in witness tampering.
Prosecutors contend this should land Manafort behind bars.
Mueller’s evidence is a series of messages on the encrypted messaging app WhatsApp, as well as several phone calls from Manafort to an associate.
But the evidence is far less sturdy on closer examination.
In Mueller’s motion, he contends Manafort and “Person A” tried to contact other members of the Hapsburg Group – a collection of European politicians who were working with Manafort on his foreign business dealings.
Mueller’s motion states Manafort reached out by phone to one of these individuals (Person D1) but was rebuffed: “On February 25 and 27, 2018, Manafort attempted to call another phone number associated with Person D1, but did not connect. Person D1 told the government that in or around this period, Manafort called Person D1, and that the two had not spoken since July of the previous year. Person D1 stated that after answering the call and after the caller identified himself as Manafort, Manafort stated that he wanted to give Person D1 a heads-up about Hapsburg. PersonD1 immediately ended the call because he was concerned about the outreach.”
The only circumstantial evidence Mueller produces is text messages from Individual A to person D2 claiming Manafort wanted the group to present a false cover story that the Hapsburg group never did any work in the United States.
But there is no evidence directly tying Manafort to witness tampering.
Paul Rosenzweig – a Professorial Lecturer in Law at George Washington University and former Homeland Security official who is also a hard core #NeverTrumper – blasted Mueller’s case against Manafort.
Rosenzweig wrote on the Lawfare blog: “But direct evidence against Manafort is almost nonexistent. Saying “we should talk” and “I want to give you an update” or a “heads-up” is hardly the stuff that true witness-tampering charges are made of. And, more to the point, if the entire conversation in which Manafort participated lasted for less than a minute and a half, he’d have to be a very, very fast talker to a have accomplished tampering.”
Rosenzweig goes on to speculate that the reason Mueller is turning the screws on Manafort is to flip him as soon as possible because the special counsel is feeling pressure to bring a case against the President.
This speculation is adding fuel to the fire that the Mueller probe is nothing more than an attempted political assassination of Donald Trump and his associates.
Mueller and his gang of partisan Democrats haven’t struck anything in digging up evidence of collusion with Russia, so they are attempting one last Hail Mary by filing outrageous charges against Manafort.
But Manafort has strongly denied any collusion with Russia since the first day of the investigation.
Mueller’s only hope is to grind Manafort down to the point where he bears false witness against the President by making up a story about Russian collusion.
We will keep you up to date on any new developments in this story.