Former Trump Campaign Manager Jailed Over Witness Tampering Charges

Judge jails ex-Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort pending trial, citing obstruction charges

Judge jails ex-Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort pending trial, citing obstruction charges

Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort has been jailed pending trial after he was found by a Washington judge to have breached the conditions of his bail.

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The judge in Virginia ordered Manafort to contact no witnesses, an admonition that Jackson noted. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson found that in light of the new charges, she couldn't trust he would follow her orders. She explained that she needed to keep him from contacting others. "I have no appetite for this", she further said.

Jackson, the judge, declined to punish Manafort then but warned she would probably consider similar actions in the future as a violation.

Manafort turned around briefly to wave to his wife before heading out a door at the back of the crowded courtroom, witnesses said.

Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, was booked into a Virginia jail on Friday night.

"Like Manafort has nothing to do with our campaign", the president told reporters at the White House before the hearing.

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There had already been pressure on Paul Manafort to flip on Trump, especially after Manafort's former business partner, Rick Gates, began cooperating with prosecutors earlier this year. He worked for Bob Dole. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and former Sen. "He worked for many other republicans", Trump said. He worked for me for what? "Very short period of time". He joined the campaign in March 2016, became chair in May and resigned in August 2016.

Mueller is accusing Manafort and Kilimnik of tampering with two witnesses.

Mueller's office indicted Manafort in October on five charges: conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading Foreign Agents Registration Act statements and false statements.

That would be standard for a defendant credibly accused of witness tampering while on bail, especially since - as Berman quipped - she can't solve the problem merely by seizing Manafort's cell phone.

"This will not happen again", Richard Westling, one of the defense attorneys, promised. In December, Mueller's team asked the court to revise the terms of Manafort's release after they learned he was ghostwriting an op-ed about his lobbying work for Ukraine while out on bail. He also said that there was no evidence Manafort tried to tamper. He pleaded not guilty to both counts.

The filings last week, signed by Mueller, alleged that Manafort and Kilimnik "knowingly and intentionally attempted to corruptly persuade another person...with intent to influence, delay, and prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding".

The obstruction charges were contained in a third superseding indictment filed by Mueller a week ago.

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