Manafort Sent to Jail over Accusations of Witness-Tampering

BREAKING Paul Manafort is Going to Jail

But last week, prosecutors working for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, filed two new counts of obstruction of justice against Manafort and asked that his bail be revoked because he had committed new crimes.

The move by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson came after prosecutors accused Manafort and a longtime associate of witnesses tampering.

While Paul Manafort is facing charges unrelated to his time at the top of Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, his prosecution - and now his pre-trial imprisonment - is widely viewed as a means for the special counsel team to pressure the former Washington power broker to co-operate with the Russian Federation meddling probe.

Businessman and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is headed to jail after a federal judged determined evidence against him of witness tampering is valid. Trump told reporters Friday - before the announcement of Manafort's incarceration that "Manafort has nothing to do with our campaign", and that he only "worked for me for a very short period of time".

On Friday morning, Mr Trump distanced himself from his former campaign aide.

Manafort, who was indicted on conspiracy and money laundering charges with ex-business partner Rick Gates in October, had been largely confined to his home, tethered to two Global Positioning System ankle monitors while awaiting a trial set for the early fall.

The Virginia indictment, which will go to trial in July, will focus on fraud charges.

Manafort was not sentenced, as Trump suggested.

Mueller's team filed evidence that Manafort tried to coordinate the testimony of two former business colleagues who allegedly helped him to illegally lobby in the United States for Yanukovych.

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The new indictment charged Manafort and Kilimnik with obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice related to contacts they had with two witnesses earlier this year.

Mueller, whose investigation has overshadowed Trump's presidency, is investigating whether the President's 2016 campaign colluded with Moscow and whether Trump has unlawfully sought to obstruct the Russian Federation probe. "No, I don't want to talk about that", the president responded - though he did say "I do want to see people treated fairly".

When Manafort was first indicted, the White House said the charges had nothing to do with the president and the 2016 campaign.

"This is not middle school", the judge said to the lawyers.

"Very unfair!" The president referred incorrectly to Manafort's pre-trial detention as a "tough sentence".

Defence attorneys said Manafort didn't know who the government witnesses are.

Manafort's attorneys argued that his "innocuous" contacts with witnesses was twisted into a "sinister plot" of witness tampering by prosecutors.

Kilimnik worked with Manafort in Ukraine during that time, and during the 2016 election they were reportedly in regular contact.

Manafort, 69, will remain locked up until his federal trial in September. The charges include failing to register as a foreign agent, lying to investors, and conspiracy to launder money. Prosecutors have previously said Kilimnik has ties to Russian intelligence, which he denies.

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