How TrumpWorld pressures witnesses to deny his possible wrongdoing

Evidence across multiple state, federal and congressional investigations points to a similar pattern: Trump and his close allies privately shower potential witnesses with flattery and attention, extending vague assurances that staying loyal to Trump would be better than crossing him.

Meanwhile, Trump publicly blasts those who offer testimony against him in bluntly personal terms, offering a clear example to others of the consequences of stepping out of line.

“Donald Trump never changes his playbook,” Cohen said in an interview. “He behaves like a mob boss, and these messages are fashioned in that style. Giving an order without giving the order. No fingerprints attached.”…

The messages received by House committee witnesses would be illegal if they were designed to influence their testimony, said Timothy Belevetz, a former federal prosecutor and a defense attorney at Ice Miller, who said federal laws cover attempts to tamper with congressional testimony. It is illegal to threaten a witness if they do not testify in a certain way — but also to promise to reward them if they do so.

“You have to draw conclusions with respect to their intent — are they making these statements with the intent to influence the witness?” he said. Regardless, he said: “It’s exceedingly troublesome.”