Manafort jailed over tampering charges

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While most of the charges against Manafort predate his work for Trump, some relate to activities that took place into 2017, including alleged bank fraud and money laundering, according to prosecutors.

A U.S. federal judge sent Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, to jail on Friday ahead of his trial on money laundering, tax and bank fraud charges.

Manafort is the first former member of Trump's presidential campaign to be jailed in connection with the Mueller investigation.

Prosecutors made the Manafort detention request on June 4, when they argued in court papers that he tried to tamper with two witnesses after he was indicted in Washington for a second time on February 23. During Manafort's hearing, an attorney on the special counsel's team, Greg Andres, characterized Manafort's outreach to possible witnesses as "a sustained campaign", adding that nothing short of jail could prevent Manafort from repeating the alleged infraction.

The judge said sending Manafort to a cell was "an extraordinarily hard decision" but said his conduct - allegedly conspiring to contact witnesses in the case in an effort to get them to lie to investigators - left her little choice. "I can't take his cellphone".

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No one on the campaign, including Manafort, has been charged with a crime directly related to Russian attempts to sway the election.

Mr. Manafort will be detained until his trial in Washington, D.C., which is set to begin in September, about two months after his trial in Virginia.

Trump has denounced the Mueller probe as a political "witch hunt" and denied there was any collusion with Russian Federation by members of his election campaign. Very unfair! Manafort has not been convicted and has not received a "sentence" as the president claims.

"Didn't know Manafort was the head of the Mob", he said.

Mueller insists Manafort's case falls within his jurisdiction because of his connection with both the Trump campaign and to officials in Russian Federation and Ukraine.

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A federal grand jury indicted Manafort and a longtime associate, Konstantin Kilimnik, last week on charges of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice, adding to the multiple felony counts he already faced.

Mueller's team said Manafort wanted the witnesses to back up his claim that prominent Europeans he hired didn't lobby for Ukraine in the USA, which would be illegal. "Very unfair!" Those were references to James Comey, whom Trump fired as Federal Bureau of Investigation director, and Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee.

Court papers showed the witnesses told investigators they believed Manafort and Kilimnik were trying to get them to lie about their work with a group of former European politicians known as the Hapsburg group.

The charges against him in Washington include failing to register as a foreign agent for the pro-Russia Ukrainian government under former President Viktor Yanukovych.

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