When Special Counsel Robert Mueller filed witness tampering charges against Paul Manafort last week, he merely labeled the two witnesses in question as “Person D1” and “Person D2” without revealing their identities. This set off a firestorm of speculation across social media as to who these two individuals might be. Palmer Report pointed out that, based on the descriptions of when D1 and D2 were associated with Manafort, they were unlikely to be any headlining names. Now Mueller himself has confirmed their identities.
Sure enough, “D1” and “D2” are not Donald and Melania Trump, or Roger Stone and Rick Gates, or any of the other wild theories that had been floated. A few major news outlets reported that their sources had told them that D1 and D2 were journalists Alan Friedman and Eckart Sager. Sure enough, Mueller’s official court filings today confirm that this is indeed the case. Oddly enough, it’s not clear if Mueller actually intended to reveal this.
Mueller’s team initially posted the court filings today with the names of Friedman and Sager clearly identified as the two witnesses who were on the receiving end of Paul Manafort’s attempted tampering. But shortly afterward, Mueller’s team filed new versions of the documents, with their names redacted. This is a surprisingly sloppy mistake from Mueller’s otherwise tight ship, particularly about something so important – and it makes us wonder if perhaps Mueller did this in order to publicly confirm the names in a low-key manner ahead of Manafort’s arraignment on Friday.
In any case, the filings make clear that Paul Manafort’s efforts at witness tampering ended up failing. “Person D1” hung up as soon as he realized it was Manafort on the other end of the line, while “Person D2” refused to take Manafort’s calls to begin with. Not only has Manafort been indicted for attempting to tamper with the witnesses, he was jointly indicted with alleged Russian government spy Konstantin Kilimnik, as the two were conspiring together in the tampering.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report