Trump’s Former Campaign Manager Paul Manafort Hauled Off to Jail
Paul Manafort “abused” the trust placed in him half a year ago, and is headed to jail awaiting trial for bank fraud and money laundering.
Manafort had sought to end seven months of house arrest in exchange for $10 million in bail, but after Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s lawyers filed a motion two weeks ago alleging that Manafort had attempted to tamper with witnesses for his trial US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson revoked bail, and ordered Manafort detained in jail awaiting trial.
“The harm in this case is harm to the administration of justice and harm to the integrity of the court’s system,” Judge Berman Jackson said. Scolding Manafort, she also said, “This is not middle school. I can’t take his cell phone,” she said of Manafort. “I thought about his long and hard, Mr. Manafort. I have no appetite for this.” And, admonishing those who would seek to spin this news as part of what President Trump decries as a “witch hunt” as part of her wind-up to her order, the Judge stated, “this hearing is not about politics, is not about conduct of the office of the special counsel.”
The witness tampering is alleged to have been a conspiracy between Manafort and Konstantin Kilimnik, who has long been a business associate of Manafort’s, and is a Russian National. According to the allegation, Manafort and Kilimnik sought to influence two witnesses in the case, by phone, and using an encrypted text messaging app.
In October of 2017, the former Trump campaign manager was charged in the federal court of Washington DC on charges including money laundering conspiracy, making false statements to the FBI, failing to register as a foreign agent, and additional crimes related to his work as a lobbyist for the government of Ukraine and Ukrainian political parties.
The bank fraud and tax crime charges can later in the Eastern District of Virginia. Manafort’s co-defendants in both of those cases, former Trump Deputy Campaign Chairman Richard Gates, has already plead guilty and his operating with the investigation.
Immediately after the Judge’s ruling was handed down President Trump’s former Campaign Manager was led into the prisoner holding area by three US Marshals.
Featured image courtesy of Getty Images.