New Pieces of Evidence that Helped Put Paul Manafort Behind Bars

Arturo Kim
June 17, 2018

"I can not turn a blind eye", US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said on Friday.

Paul Manafort was locked up in a Virginia jail Friday night after a federal judge revoked his bail amid allegations of witness tampering.

None of the filed charges relate to meddling in the 2016 election, but a guilty plea from Manafort would be an enormous coup for Mueller, who has secured indictments against 20 people - from former national security adviser Michael Flynn to employees of a Russian troll farm.

US President Donald Trump speaks to reporters on the North Lawn of the White House on June 15, 2018.

This week, prosecutors submitted as evidence a four-page memo that Mr. Manafort wrote to Mr. Yanukovych detailing his campaign to convince members of Congress, the State Department and the Western news media that Mr. Yanukovych, who was elected Ukraine's president in 2010, was a champion of democratic reforms.

In a tweet on Friday afternoon, Trump brought up Manafort's extensive work in politics and argued that the court's decision to cancel his house arrest was inappropriate considering what he sees as more serious crimes of Hillary Clinton and former FBI Director James Comey that weren't prosecuted.

Mueller is prosecuting Manafort in two venues, in the District of Columbia on charges of lobbying for foreign governments without complying with the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), and in Virginia on charges of tax and bank fraud for his lobbying work dating back a decade.

Manafort does not actually have a "tough sentence", or any sentence, because he has not been convicted.

Trump condemned the treatment of Manafort, a veteran Washington political consultant, as he sought to paint Mueller's team as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation - which Mueller once ran - as deeply biased and illegitimate.

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 Russian Federation probe.

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While Judge Jackson said she struggled with the decision, she accused Mr Manafort of treating the proceedings as "just another marketing exercise". Gates has since pleaded guilty to lesser charges in a deal with prosecutors.

"This is not middle school", she told lawyers.

"Didn't know Manafort was the head of the Mob".

Instead, the judge had his bail revoked and was ordered to go to jail.

Manafort, 69, will remain locked up until his federal trial in September.

The messages suggested that Manafort was seeking to have Friedman confirm that the campaign he worked on to polish the image of Ukraine and its then-president Viktor Yanukovych was focused on Europe.

The witnesses told investigators that they "understood" that Manafort was reaching out to influence the testimony, according to court papers.

The government alleges that the offenses are part of a complex financial conspiracy led by Manafort and aided by Rick Gates, Trump's deputy campaign chairman, and Manafort's right-hand man, Kilimnik, who has been linked to Russian intelligence.

Manafort's attorneys have accused prosecutors of conjuring a "sinister plot" out of "innocuous" contacts.

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