A federal judge has revoked Paul Manafor’s bail while he was awaiting trial after new charges came forward that Manafort had tried to influence the testimony of two government witnesses while he was on temporary release. Manafort had posted a $10 million bond and had been under house arrest until his September trial. The former Trump campaign chairman was indicted on charges of money laundering and making false statements.
Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia said during a 90-minute court hearing, “This is not middle school, I can’t take away his cellphone.”
Indicted back in October, Manafort continues to rack up charges. His latest set back after Judge Jackson’s decision that Mr. Manafort could not be trusted to abide by the law unless he was in jail. Meanwhile, Trump and his members lashed out against the judge’s decision. “Wow, what a tough sentence for Paul Manafort, who has represented Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other top political people and campaigns,” Trump wrote on Twitter. Rudolph W. Giuliani, who is serving as the president’s personal lawyer, said that the “judge had gone too far.”
Trump is still under investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, for one of the same offense for which prosecutors are accusing Paul Manafort of, obstruction of justice.
According to the New York Times, “In a superseding indictment filed last week, the prosecutors working for Mr. Mueller claimed that Mr. Manafort and a close associate had contacted 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-Russia president of Ukraine until 2014. The government says that Mr. Manafort violated the law by failing to report his domestic lobbying efforts to the Justice Department and by lying to the federal authorities about his activities.”
Three US marshals led Manafort out of the packed courtroom into the prisoner holding area immediately after the judge’s ruling. He was not placed in handcuffs. Before he disappeared through the door, he turned toward his wife and supporters and gave a stilted wave.