A former Trump campaign chief, Paul Manafort has been remanded in jail after a Judge revoked his bail and said he attempted to tamper with witnesses in the case of foreign lobbying violations levelled against him as part of the probe into Russian involvement in the last US Presidential elections.
“The harm in this case is harm to the administration of justice and harm to the integrity of the court’s system,” Judge Berman Jackson told Manafort in court.
Three US marshals led Manafort out of the packed courtroom into the prisoner holding area immediately after the judge’s ruling though he was not handcuffed. Minutes later, a marshal returned with his tie, wallet and belt which he handed over to Manafort’s wife, Kathleen, who was still in the courtroom.
In a reaction, President Trump who has been critical of the Mueller probe tweeted, “Wow, what a tough sentence for Paul Manafort, who has represented Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other top political people and campaigns. Didn’t know Manafort was the head of the Mob. What about Comey and Crooked Hillary and all of the others? Very unfair!”
Manafort has been under house arrest since his first arraignment in October when a Magistrate set a bail bond of $10m on him which he found difficult to meet. His passport was also confiscated after prosecutors insisted he was a high flight risk. While investigations into his plans to use some real estate as bail bond were ongoing, prosecutors found additional evidence of mortgage fraud and an attempt to “coach potential witnesses” and told the Judge that he was “a danger to the community” who had committed the additional crime of obstruction of justice.