Witnesses Hand Over Personal Phones So Mueller Can Inspect Encrypted Message Apps

In what appears to be another fishing expedition, likely prompted by reports that Paul Manafort is being accused by investigators of tampering with witnesses, CNBC reports that special counsel Robert Mueller's team is requesting that witnesses turn in their personal phones to inspect their encrypted messaging programs.

In an effort to potentially view conversations between witnesses linked to President Trump and Russia, sources told CNBC that since as early as April, Mueller's team has been asking witnesses in the Russia probe to turn over phones for agents to examine private conversations on WhatsApp, Confide, Signal and Dust.

According to the same source, the 'request' worked as, the witnesses - fearing a subpoena - have willingly handed over their phones.

CNBC ends with the usual caveat that nothing has been found, no leaks of anything has been found, but they remain "convinced" that there must be something there...

While it's unclear what Mueller has discovered, if anything, through this new request, investigators seem to be convinced that the apps could be a key to exposing conversations that weren't previously disclosed to them.

Fishing expedition, indeed.

The big question now is - how long before a Republican probe is launched demanding access to various FBI agents and officials personal phones to examine their encyrpted messaging apps?