WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A federal judge on Tuesday ordered U.S. President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, to respond by Friday to the government’s bid to revoke or revise his release and set a June 15 hearing on the matter, according to a court filing.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller said in a court filing on Monday that Manafort had attempted to tamper with potential witnesses and asked the judge to revoke or revise an order releasing Manafort ahead of his trial.
Manafort’s spokesman Jason Maloni denied the allegations.
“Mr. Manafort is innocent and nothing about this latest allegation changes our defence. We will do our talking in court,” Maloni said in a statement on Tuesday.
Mueller is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. As part of that investigation, Manafort is facing indictments in federal courts in Virginia and Washington on a variety of charges from money-laundering and failing to register as a foreign agent, to bank and tax fraud.
Manafort has pleaded not guilty, and none of the charges relate to the 2016 presidential election.
On Monday, Mueller’s team said Manafort and a close associate identified in the court documents only as Person A had tried to call, text and send encrypted messages in February to two people from a public relations firm they had worked with to promote the interests of Ukraine. Mueller alleges those actions were an effort to influence the intended recipients’ testimony and conceal evidence.
The judge on Tuesday gave Manafort’s team until Friday to respond to the special counsel’s filing.
Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Additional reporting by Timothy Ahmann, Doina Chiacu and Susan Heavey; editing by Andrea Ricci