A federal judge on Friday revoked the bail of former US President Donald Trump’s campaign director, Paul Manafort, accused of attempting to subvert witnesses in the investigation into possible Russian interference during the presidential campaign of 2016, and ordered his detention on remand.
Mr. Manafort pleaded not guilty to the most recent allegations alleged to be made by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, who is leading the investigation into a possible collusion between Donald Trump’s team and Russia .
Until his appearance before Judge Amy Berman Jackson on Friday, he was under house arrest in Virginia and had to wear an electronic bracelet.
Paul Manafort is the first member of Donald Trump’s campaign team to be jailed.
Jackson J. considers that Mr. Manafort treated the judicial process as a “marketing exercise”.
“I do not like it, but I can not close my eyes: you have abused the trust placed in you,” she told Paul Manafort.
A “severe” decision according to Trump
“Wow, what a severe sentence for Paul Manafort, who represented Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other senior politicians and campaigning organizations. I did not know that Manafort was at the head of the Mafia […], “responded Donald Trump on his Twitter account Friday, while Mr. Manafort was, in fact, not sentenced.
Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller accuses Paul Manafort of pressuring potential witnesses. The charge also targets one of his business associates, Konstantin Kilimnik, suspected of being linked to Russian military intelligence.
The Federal Judge’s decision on Friday is a small victory for Mueller, who was demanding that Mr. Manafort be incarcerated so that he does not influence witnesses at his trial scheduled for this summer.
Mr. Manafort has long-standing ties with a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine and an oligarch close to the Kremlin. Moscow denies having interfered in the 2016 US presidential election.
According to the prosecutor Mueller, Paul Manafort has repeatedly tried in recent months to call or send text messages to two of his former partners, with the aim of getting through them a favorable turnaround in the ongoing investigation .
“I can not turn a deaf ear to these charges,” said Judge Jackson.
The magistrate also rejected a request from the lawyer of Mr. Manafort, who suggested that it restricts the possible contacts of his client.
“We are not in college. I can not confiscate his cell phone, “said the judge.
Paul Manafort, 69, is due to appear in court this summer on money laundering, tax and banking fraud and illegal lobbying. He denies all the charges against him.
Two separate procedures are in progress. His trial in federal court in Washington, including for conspiracy against the United States and money laundering, is expected to begin in September.
The other trial, for tax evasion and bank fraud, is scheduled to begin at the end of July in Virginia.
Diane Elliot is a seasoned journalist with nearly 12 years experience. While studying journalism at University of Southern California, Diane found a passion for finding engaging stories. As a contributor to Coastal Morning Star, Diane mostly covers human interest pieces.