Published: Sun, June 17, 2018
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

U.S. judge sends ex-Trump campaign head Manafort to jail

U.S. judge sends ex-Trump campaign head Manafort to jail

Rather, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jacksona revoked Manafort's bail after he was accused of tampering with witnesses in the case against him.

The move marks a striking, although somewhat expected, turn in the government's long-running case against Manafort, who is facing several financial fraud charges that arose from special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation during the 2016 presidential election.

The 69-year-old has his bail revoked on Friday (local time) and was sentenced to jail by a judge in Washington after it was alleged he contacted government witnesses in an effort to get them to lie to investigators. In 2016, Manafort served as Trump's campaign chairman during the Republican National Convention.

"Manafort worked for me for a very short period of time", Trump told the press on the front lawn of the White House.

Trump tweeted a response to Manafort's jailing, defending his former campaign manager.

As Newsweek noted, the judge's action sparked immediate speculation that Paul Manafort may now begin cooperating with prosecutors and helping to build a case against Donald Trump, which could lead to his impeachment. He faces two trials on bank- and tax fraud charges: one on September 17 in Washington, D.C., and another on July 25 in Alexandria, Virginia.

Manafort's trial is now scheduled for September. Chuck Todd and Pete Williams speculate that this could force Manafort to flip on Trump, but that's a pretty weak speculation.

Prosecutors haven't tied Manafort, Gates and Kilimnik's alleged wrongdoings to the actions of the Trump campaign, which is at the core of Mueller's investigation.

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.

The fresh obstruction charge against Mr Manafort is the latest development in Mr Mueller's sustained investigation into collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign.

Manafort's attorneys said the charges were based on the "thinnest of evidence".

Manafort has pleaded not guilty and said he's done nothing wrong.

"This is not middle school, I can't take his cell phone", she added, according to USA media.

The blunt remarks came the same day that Manafort was ordered to jail amid allegations of witness tampering.

None of the current charges against Manafort connect back to Trump. He has pleaded not guilty to all of them.

Manafort is accused of failing to register in the an agent of Ukraine, and of laundering millions of dollars.

No one on the campaign, including Manafort, has been charged with a crime directly related to Russian attempts to sway the election. Richard Westling, an attorney for Manafort, rebutted that claim, asking the judge to consider additional bail conditions that would allow Manafort to remain on home confinement. Mueller's team has said that Kilimnik has ties to Russian intelligence agencies, a claim he has denied.

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

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