Paul Manafort sent to jail over witness tampering allegation

He contacted former lobbyists while under house arrest

New York /
Jun.June 15, 2018 02:16 PM

Paul Manafort (Credit: Getty Images and Pixabay)

A federal judge revoked Paul Manafort’s bail on Friday, sending the former Trump campaign chair to jail ahead of his two trials on fraud charges.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said Manafort tried to tamper with witnesses by contacting two journalists who worked on a lobbying campaign he led in Ukraine, Bloomberg reported. She explained that she needed to keep him from contacting others.

“This is not middle school,” Jackson said. “I can’t take his cellphone.”

Manafort is accused of money laundering and acting as an unregistered foreign agent of Ukraine as part of a lobbying campaign to help pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych. He faces two trials on bank- and tax fraud charges: one on Sept. 17 in Washington, D.C., and another on July 25 in Alexandria, Virginia. In October, Manafort was hit with a 12-count indictment, accusing his and his business associate Rick Gates of evading taxes on millions of dollars they earned as lobbyists and consultants for Ukrainian officials. Much of that money went into New York real estate, including a home improvement company in the Hamptons, a brownstone in Brooklyn and a condominium in Soho.

In August, The Real Deal detailed some of Manafort’s real estate deals orchestrated by his fixer, Brad Zackson.

Manafort has pleaded not guilty to the charges. For his part, President Trump noted on Friday that Manafort only worked for him for a “very short period of time.”

“I feel badly for some people because they’ve gone back 12 years to find things about somebody. And I don’t think it’s right,” he said.

A jailed Manafort could give Special Counsel Robert Mueller leverage in securing cooperation from the former campaign manager. [Bloomberg] — Kathryn Brenzel


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