Trump calls decision to revoke Paul Manafort’s bail ‘very unfair’
‘Very unfair’: Trump sympathizes with Paul Manafort after judge cancels his house arrest and sends him to JAIL ‘for witness tampering’ while he awaits Mueller probe trial
- President Trump tweeted this afternoon calling the decision to revoke Paul Manafort’s bail ‘tough’ and very ‘unfair’
- He incorrectly referred to the pre-trial detention as a ‘sentence’ – Manafort has not been convicted or sentenced to prison
- U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson sent the former Trump campaign manager to await trial behind bars during his arraignment on Friday
- Manafort, who was newly indicted on witness tampering charges last week, had asked to remain on house arrest
- He had been indicted on raft of charges in Virginia – where his trial will begin on July 25 and Washington DC – which will begin on September 17
- Manafort had been confined to his home in the Washington suburb of Alexandria, Virginia, and forced to wear a GPS monitoring device since October
- Mueller’s team had asked the judge this month to revise Manafort’s terms of his release or revoke it entirely
- Manafort had allegedly used WhatsApp to send messages to ‘influence [witness] testimony and to otherwise conceal evidence’
Donald Trump has called the decision to revoke Paul Manafort’s bail ‘very unfair’ after a federal judge sent the former campaign manager to await trial behind bars.
In a tweet sent on Friday afternoon, the president incorrectly refers to the pre-trial detention as a ‘tough sentence.’
‘Wow, what a tough sentence for Paul Manafort, who has represented Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other top political people and campaigns. Didn’t know Manafort was the head of the Mob. What about Comey and Crooked Hillary and all of the others? Very unfair!’ he tweeted.
The former Trump aide has not been convicted of any crimes or sentenced to prison.
Manafort, who was indicted on witness tampering charges last week, had asked to remain on house arrest until his trial which is set to begin on September 17 in Washington.
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson revoked his bail, ruling in favor of prosecutors who had been pushing for Manafort to be jailed because they did not believe his release terms would prevent him from committing further crimes.
In issuing her ruling, Jackson said she had ‘struggled’ with the decision but she couldn’t ‘turn a blind eye’ to his conduct.
‘This is not middle school. I can’t take his cell phone,’ she said, while adding that he had ‘abused the trust placed in you six months ago.’
A federal grand jury indicted Manafort and a longtime associate, Konstantin Kilimnik, last week on charges of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice, adding to the multiple felony counts he already faced.
Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort had his bail revoked during his arraignment on Friday
Manafort had been on house arrest since last year and had been forced GPS monitoring device
Last week, Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted Manafort on a new charge of witness tampering, and had asked for his bail to be revoked
Manafort was accused of sending text messages in an effort to influence witness testimony.
He had been confined to his home in the Washington suburb of Alexandria, Virginia and forced to wear a GPS monitoring device since October.
He had repeatedly requested to end his home confinement in exchange for pledging $10 million in real estate as collateral – which Judge Jackson had rebuffed.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Manafort has been indicted by Mueller in both Washington and Virginia on a raft of charges including conspiracy against the United States.
His trial on the related charges in Virginia is set for July 25.
Mueller, whose investigation could threaten Trump’s presidency, is also investigating whether the president’s 2016 campaign colluded with Moscow and whether Trump has unlawfully sought to obstruct the Russia probe.
The president has called Mueller’s investigation a witch hunt and has denied wrongdoing.
A June 8 indictment charged Manafort and Konstantin Kilimnik, a Manafort aide and political operative with alleged ties to Russian intelligence, with tampering with witnesses about their past lobbying for Ukraine’s former pro-Russian government.
Manafort’s wife Kathleen Manafort, was seen leaving without him after his arraignment on a third superseding indictment against him by Special Counsel Robert Mueller on charges of witness tampering
Kathleen was escorted through the crowd of protesters and photographers as she left the Federal Courthouse in Washington
The indictment accused Manafort and Kilimnik of attempting to call, text, and send encrypted messages in February to two people from a political discussion group – the so-called Hapsburg Group – that Manafort worked with to promote Ukraine’s interests in a bid to sway their testimony.
The messages – sent on WhatsApp – were an ‘effort to influence [witness] testimony and to otherwise conceal evidence’, the FBI said.
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Mueller’s team this month asked the judge to revoke Manafort’s bail, saying his “obstructive” 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.”
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.
Manafort was seen going through security on his arrival at federal court, Friday
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled in favor of prosecutors who for months had been pushing for Manafort to be jailed because he is a flight risk
Manafort was met by a crowd of protesters holding signs reading ‘lock him up’ as he walked into the Federal Courthouse Friday morning
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