Judge jails ex-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort as he awaits trial

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Paul Manafort Ordered to Jail Ahead of Trial

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A federal judge on Friday ordered that President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort be jailed as he awaits trial on charges connected to his foreign lobbying work.

The decision came days after Manafort was accused of witness tampering.

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U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson revoked Manafort’s house arrest, citing newly filed obstruction of justice charges.

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"You have abused the trust placed in you six months ago,'' Berman Jackson told Manafort, according to The Washington Post. "The government motion will be granted and the defendant will be detained."

She said charges filed last week against Manafort, alleging the lobbyist tried to sway witnesses in his criminal case to lie to authorities, left her with little choice but to jail Manafort, the Post reported.

“This is not middle school. I can’t take away his cell phone,” she said. “If I tell him not to call 56 witnesses, will he call the 57th? ... This hearing is not about politics. It is not about the conduct of the office of special counsel. It is about the defendant’s conduct.”

Court marshals escorted him from the courtroom after his hearing Friday morning, CNN reported.

Manafort is facing several charges stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Friday’s decision made Manafort the first Trump campaign official to be jailed in the probe.

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Trump told reporters earlier Friday that he felt badly about the Mueller investigation, “because I think a lot of it’s really unfair.” He pointed to the charges against Manafort, which he noted have “nothing to do with our campaign.”

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Manafort and former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates were indicted in October on a dozen charges connected with consulting work they did in Ukraine. A federal grand jury in Virginia indicted Manafort in February on charges of tax evasion and bank fraud.

Five people -- including Gates, former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos -- have pleaded guilty to charges in the special counsel’s probe and agreed to cooperate with investigators.

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