Former campaign manager for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, Paul Manafort, was in a D.C. courtroom this morning after being accused of witness tampering while on house arrest and awaiting his two trials, one in Virginia and one in D.C. He plead not guilty to his third superseding indictment and asked the judge not to revoke his bail.
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson rejected Manfort’s request and has revoked his bail ahead of his upcoming trials, saying he has abused the trust the court placed in him.
On June 8, Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged Manafort and his aide, Konstantin Kilimnik, with attempting to sway the testimony of two individuals from the Hapsburg Group via calling, texting and sending encrypted messages in February.
Mueller asked the judge to revoke Manafort’s bail, stating that his conduct “instills little confidence that restrictions short of detention will assure Manafort’s compliance with the court’s orders and prevent him from committing further crimes.”
Reuters details the charges Manafort faces in D.C, which are mirrored in his upcoming July 25 trial in Virginia.
Manafort has longstanding ties to a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine and a Russian oligarch close to the Kremlin.
The charges against Manafort in Washington include conspiracy to launder money, conspiracy to defraud the United States and failing to register as a foreign agent for the pro-Russia Ukrainian government under former President Viktor Yanukovych.
This morning, President Trump spoke to reporters and discussed Manafort briefly, noting that he was associated with the campaign for a short time “maybe 49 days or something”. Manafort joined the Trump campaign in March 2016, became campaign manager in June and resigned in August after his connections to Russia and the pro Russia former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych were revealed.
TRUMP says he "feels badly" for Paul Manafort. "They went back 12 years to get things that he did 12 years ago?"
Trump falsely claims that Manafort worked on the campaign for "49 days or something." It was 5 months.
Trump won't rule out a pardon either. (via FOX) pic.twitter.com/9jUAH05LFh
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 15, 2018
Paul Manafort faces over 300 years in prison and has plead not guilty to all charges. His trial in Virginia is scheduled for July 25 and his D.C. trial is scheduled for September.
CNN reports the scene in the courtroom.
Three US marshals led Manafort out of the courtroom into the prisoner holding area immediately after the judge’s ruling. He was not placed in handcuffs. Before he disappeared through the door, he turned toward his wife and supporters and gave a stilted wave.Minutes later, a marshal returned to give his wife, Kathleen, still standing in the courtroom’s front row, Manafort’s wallet, belt and the burgundy tie he wore Friday.In her wind-up to her order, Berman Jackson also gave a brief nod to the bitter environment around the case.”This hearing is not about politics, is not about conduct of the office of the special counsel.”
This is a developing story. We will update when we have more information.