'Very Unfair!': Trump Slams 'Tough Sentence' for Ex-Campaign Chair Paul Manafort

'Very Unfair!': Trump Slams 'Tough Sentence' for Ex-Campaign Chair Paul Manafort

A federal judge Friday (June 15) ordered former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort sent back to jail ahead of trial, citing recently filed obstruction of justice charges.

Manafort, 69, had been under house detention while awaiting trial later this year in Washington and in Virginia.

Prosecutor Greg Andres said it was "inconceivable" that Manafort didn't know the men were potential witnesses, noting that he had specifically reached out to them to discuss allegations made in an indictment against him.

Manafort is the first Trump campaign official to be jailed as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. 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.

Manafort faces a trial before Jackson on September 17 and a trial on July 25 in Alexandria, Virginia, on bank- and tax-fraud charges. He has pleaded not guilty.

When the ruling was handed down, Manafort reportedly nodded to his attorney, was taken into custody and gave a wave to his wife as he was escorted out of the courtroom.

In comments to Fox News on the White House lawn Friday, Trump said he "feels badly" for Manafort. Manafort pleaded not guilty to that charge on Friday but U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington revoked his bail, sending him to jail.


Most of the criminal counts relate to activity that preceded Manafort's time as Trump's campaign manager from March to August of 2016, when he resigned amid news reports that he had received secret cash payments for his Ukraine consulting. But last week's superseding indictment from Mueller's office alleged that Manafort and Russian operative Konstantin Kilimnik, who was also indicted, attempted to influence two witnesses who were being used in the case against him.

"This is not about politics", Jackson said, according to Politico.

Manafort, a target of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 US election, has been indicted in both Washington and Virginia on mostly financial-related charges, including conspiring to launder money and defraud the United States.

Mr Kilimnik, who denies having ties to Russian intelligence, was a long-serving employee of Mr Manafort's political consultancy. They suggested the solution would be for prosecutors to identify their witnesses and then the judge can tell Manafort whom he cannot contact. "Manafort has nothing to do with our campaign".

The charges against Manafort and his business partner Rick Gates, announced October 27 previous year, were the first indictments by Mueller's investigation.

Trump condemned the treatment of Manafort, a veteran Washington political consultant, as he sought to paint Mueller's team as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation - which Mueller once ran - as deeply biased and illegitimate.

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