Sign up below to be added to our mailing list for the latest news updates, access to exclusive contents, and more!
WASHINGTON - 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.
BREAKING: Federal judge jails ex-Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort ahead of trial, citing recently filed obstruction charges.— The Associated Press (@AP) June 15, 2018
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson revoked Manafort’s house arrest, citing newly filed obstruction of justice charges.
“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.
“The harm in this case is harm to the administration of justice and harm to the integrity of the court’s system, Judge Amy Berman Jackson told Paul Manafort in court, speaking directly to him before sending him to jail.— Shimon Prokupecz (@ShimonPro) June 15, 2018
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.
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.”
President Trump says he feels badly for Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn, both of whom have been charged in the Mueller probe, but will not say if he's considering pardons for them https://t.co/hQ27eYf2w3— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) June 15, 2018
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.