Manafort Sent to Jail over Accusations of Witness-Tampering

Manafort entered his not-guilty plea in federal court Friday

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.

Manafort had been taking a cavalier approach to the court proceedings against him, and she said she was putting an end to it.

In issuing her ruling, Jackson said she had struggled with the decision to jail Manafort while he awaits trial and considered alternatives.

It was not immediately clear when Mr Manafort would be imprisoned or where. The distinction matters because unregistered foreign lobbying in the USA is a crime, while lobbying exclusively in Europe would be outside the special counsel's jurisdiction.

Manafort's jailing is perhaps the most significant blow to the former Trump campaign manager - but it's by no means the last. He's there because a federal judge revoked his bail earlier Friday.

"This is not middle school", she told lawyers. But Manafort's tenure at Trump campaign was short-lived. "They went back 12 years to get things that he did 12 years ago". For his part, President Trump noted on Friday that Manafort only worked for him for a "very short period of time".

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Mueller, whose investigation has overshadowed Trump's presidency, is looking into whether any Trump campaign associates coordinated with Russian Federation and if Trump unlawfully sought to obstruct the probe.

Since October, Manafort had posted bail for $10 million and was awaiting arraignment in his Alexandria, Virginia home.

This week, prosecutors submitted as evidence a four-page memo that Manafort wrote to Yanukovych detailing his campaign.

Former Federal Prosecutor Nelson Cunningham argued on MSNBC host Ari Melber's show "The Beat" that this action is a momentous step in the case against Manafort and in the Russian Federation investigation.

Mueller filed new obstruction of justice charges last week against Manafort, who has pleaded not guilty to the multiple counts against him.

A June 8 indictment accused Manafort and a longtime aide, Konstantin Kilimnik, with tampering with witnesses about their past lobbying for Ukraine.

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Manafort also faces 18 separate criminate charges in a federal court in Virginia.

Manafort is facing charges that include alleged money laundering, tax evasion, conspiracy and failure to register as a foreign agent.

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

That investigation also allows for Mueller to bring charges on other illegal activities discovered during the process that may not be directly connected to Russian interference. Mueller's team has said that Kilimnik has ties to Russian intelligence agencies, a claim he has denied.

Bail comes with conditions, like not committing any additional crimes while you're free and not contacting or otherwise meddling with witnesses.

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