Breaking: Fmr Trump Campaign Chairman Sent To Jail!
A federal judge revoked Paul Manafort’s bail and sent him to jail on Friday to await trial, citing new charges that Mr. Manafort had tried to influence the testimony of two of the government’s witnesses after he had been granted bail.
Mr. Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, had been allowed to post a $10 million bond and remain at home while awaiting his September trial on a host of charges, including money laundering and false statements.
But last week, prosecutors working for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, filed two new counts of obstruction of justice against Mr. Manafort and asked that his bail be revoked — or that at least the conditions be revised — because he had committed new crimes.
In a superseding indictment, the prosecutors claimed that Mr. Manafort and a close associate, Konstantin V. Kilimnik, had contacted the two witnesses this year, hoping to persuade them to testify that Mr. Manafort had never lobbied in the United States for Viktor F. Yanukovych, the pro-Moscow president of Ukraine who fled to Russia in 2014 after a popular uprising.
In fact, the government now claims, Mr. Manafort led a multimillion-dollar lobbying effort in Washington to present Mr. Yanukovych as a pro-Western leader who deserved political support, not sanctions for alleged abuses of power.
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.
Mr. Manafort is charged with failing to disclose those lobbying efforts to the Justice Department, as required, and with lying to department officials who questioned him. He is also accused of laundering more than $30 million in income he received over a nine-year period for lobbying for Mr. Yanukovych and his political party and its successor.
Mr. Manafort faces additional federal charges in Northern Virginia of tax evasion, bank fraud and failure to report foreign bank accounts, also arising from the same activities. That trial is scheduled for late July.
Mr. Manafort worked for the Trump campaign for about five months, resigning as campaign chairman in August 2016 after revelations that he had worked for pro-Russia interests in Ukraine. Since then, an increasingly detailed picture has emerged of an alleged financial conspiracy involving Mr. Manafort; Rick Gates, Mr. Trump’s deputy campaign chairman and Mr. Manafort’s right hand-man; Mr. Kilimnik; and others. Mr. Kilimnik is a Russian Army-trained linguist who, according to prosecutors, is linked to Russian intelligence.
Mr. Manafort was first indicted in October in a case that prosecutors have repeatedly expanded. The latest superseding indictment accuses Mr. Manafort and Mr. Kilimnik of teaming up starting in February to influence the testimony of two public relations consultants who worked on the campaign to prop up Mr. Yanukovych’s reputation.
Mr. Manafort’s lawyers called the accusation of witness tampering “very specious,” and said it was a “not-too-subtle attempt to poison the potential jury pool against Mr. Manafort.”
But prosecutors claimed that Mr. Manafort and his associate engaged in a concerted effort to suggest that the two witnesses describe the lobbying campaign as limited to Europe. Were that true, Mr. Manafort would not have violated the disclosure requirements for lobbyists working for foreign officials in the United States.