President Donald Trump criticized the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Sunday, questioning why neither agency had let him know they were "secretly investigating" his former campaign chief, Paul Manafort, during the 2016 presidential election.
Special Counsel prosecutors say Mr Manafort was "attempting to tamper with potential witnesses while on pretrial release and, accordingly, has violated the conditions of his release". This coterie allegedly was dubbed the "Hapsburg" group by Manafort.
Mueller's team says in a new court filing that Manafort and one of his associates "repeatedly" contacted two witnesses in an effort to influence their testimony.
A Justice Department attorney said in April that Manafort was also being looked at as a suspected "back channel" between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation. "I have made clear that they worked in Europe".
Court documents do not name Manafort's associate, but they refer to him as "Person A" and note the pseudonym is consistent with previous filings in the case. Manafort has been charged with, among other things, conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to launder money.
"My friend P is trying to reach [Person D1] to brief him on what's going on", Person A texted Person D2 on February 28, adding: "Basically P wants to give him a quick summary that he says to everybody (which is true) that our friends never lobbied in the USA, and the objective of the program was European Union".
"I tried [Person D1] on all numbers", Person A said, according to the documents.
He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Manafort faces several felony charges in two federal cases.