Mueller asks witnesses to turn in their personal cell phones

Posted on AUG 13, 2019

Already, some witnesses have reportedly complied with the request, according to CNBC.

Special counselRobert Mueller's team has asked witnesses in the Russia probe to turn over their personal cell phones for examination of encrypted messaging apps, CNBC reported Thursday.

Sources told CNBC that Mueller's team has been interested in conversations that took place among Trump associates on WhatsApp, Confide, Signal and Dust -- apps that allow users to communicate using encryption.
At least some witnesses have reportedly already complied with the request, according to the news outlet.

The report comes two days after Mueller's team alleged in a court filing thatformer Trump campaign chairmanPaul Manafortattempted to tamper with witnesses in his upcoming trial.

Mueller's teamsaid Manafortand a longtime associate linked to Russian intelligence attempted to contact via phone call, text and encrypted messages two people from The Hapsburg Group -- which Manafort had worked with to lobby for Ukrainian interests.

The filing made by Mueller's team said Manafort's attempts at contact were"in an effort to influence their testimony and to otherwise conceal evidence," and the probe into the matter was still ongoing.

Mueller's team asked the court to revoke or revise Manafort's release conditions, including his bond and house arrest.

President Trump has frequently called the Russia probe a "hoax" and a "witch hunt."On Monday, The Hill reports that he tweeted that the special counsel is "unconstitutional," without providing proof for his claim