Tags: Cyber Security | NSA/Surveillance | Russia Probe | phone | messaging apps | special counsel | robert mueller

Report: Mueller Probe Asks Witnesses to Turn Over Phones

Report: Mueller Probe Asks Witnesses to Turn Over Phones
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort (Alex Brandon/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 06 June 2018 05:13 PM

Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigators are reportedly asking witnesses to turn over their personal phones so agents can examine private conversations on messaging programs like WhatsApp, Confide, Signal, and Dust.

Fearing a subpoena, the witnesses have complied with the request, CNBC reported, citing unnamed sources.

According to the news outlet, investigators appear to believe the encrypted apps could be a key to exposing conversations that were not previously disclosed to them by associates linked to President Donald Trump.

A spokesman for the special counsel declined to comment to CNBC.

CNBC reported former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is being accused of tampering with witnesses through the same types of phone apps: WhatsApp and Telegram. The conversations were provided to Mueller's probe in May — a month after witnesses say they were approached to provide their phones, CNBC reported.

"There's nothing wrong with asking people to voluntarily provide information to the FBI for whatever investigation," Michael German, a retired FBI agent and current fellow with the Brennan Center for Justice's Liberty and National Security Program, told CNBC. "And to the extent that that's a voluntary action is where the rub is."

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Witnesses are reportedly being asked by special counsel Robert Mueller's investigators to turn over their personal phones so agents can examine private conversations on messaging programs like WhatsApp, Confide, Signal, and Dust.
phone, messaging apps, special counsel, robert mueller
190
2018-13-06
Wednesday, 06 June 2018 05:13 PM
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