Former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort Heads To Jail

Donald Trump's former Campaign Manager was sent to jail, a move that likely increases the pressure on him to cooperate with Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

Amid charges of witness tampering, former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort has had his bail revoked and is heading to jail:

WASHINGTON — A federal judge revoked Paul Manafort’s bail and sent him to jail on Friday to await trial, citing new charges that Mr. Manafort had tried to influence the testimony of two of the government’s witnesses after he had been granted bail.

Mr. Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, had been allowed to post a $10 million bond and remain at home while awaiting his September trial on a host of charges, including money laundering and false statements.

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

In a superseding indictment, the prosecutors claimed that Mr. Manafort and a close associate, Konstantin V. Kilimnik, had contacted the two witnesses this year, hoping to persuade them to testify that Mr. Manafort had never lobbied in the United States for Viktor F. Yanukovych, the pro-Moscow president of Ukraine who fled to Russia in 2014 after a popular uprising.

In fact, the government now claims, Mr. Manafort led a multimillion-dollar lobbying effort in Washington to present Mr. Yanukovych as a pro-Western leader who deserved political support, not sanctions for alleged abuses of power.

This week, prosecutors submitted as evidence a four-page memo that Mr. Manafort wrote to Mr. Yanukovych detailing his campaign to convince members of Congress, the State Department and the Western news media that Mr. Yanukovych, who was elected Ukraine’s president in 2010, was a champion of democratic reforms.

Mr. Manafort is charged with failing to disclose those lobbying efforts to the Justice Department, as required, and with lying to department officials who questioned him. He is also accused of laundering more than $30 million in income he received over a nine-year period for lobbying for Mr. Yanukovych and his political party and its successor.

Mr. Manafort faces additional federal charges in Northern Virginia of tax evasion, bank fraud and failure to report foreign bank accounts, also arising from the same activities. That trial is scheduled for late July.

More from The Washington Post:

A federal judge ordered Paul Manafort to jail Friday over charges he tampered with witnesses while out on bail — a major blow for President Trump’s former campaign chairman as he awaits trial on federal conspiracy and money-laundering charges next month.

“You have abused the trust placed in you six months ago,” U.S. District Court judge Amy Berman Jackson told Manafort. “The government motion will be granted and the defendant will be detained.”

The judge said sending Manafort to a cell was “an extraordinarily difficult decision,” but added his conduct left her little choice, because he had allegedly contacted witnesses in the case in an effort to get them to lie to investigators.

“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?” She said she should not have to draft a court order spelling out the entire criminal code for him to avoid violations.

“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,” Jackson said. “I’m concerned you seem to treat these proceedings as another marketing exercise.”

Manafort, dressed in a blue suit and red tie, was led out of the courtroom by security officers. He turned and gave a last look and wave to his wife, seated in the well of the court. She nodded back to him.

His lawyer Richard Westerling had urged the judge not to send him to jail, saying that it was not required by law, and doing so “will create more challenges for the defense, which already faces trial in two courts.”

The order to incarcerate Manafort capped a months-long fight over the terms of his bail. He had been asking to post a $10 million bond and end seven months of home detention.

It was not immediately clear where Manafort would be jailed.


Prosecutors alleged that by committing a new crime while on release, Manafort violated the terms of his home confinement in Alexandria, Va., and they asked the judge to revoke or revise it.

Manafort, 69, has pleaded not guilty to all charges in what prosecutors say was a broader conspiracy to launder more than $30 million over a decade of undisclosed lobbying for a former pro-Russian politician and party in Ukraine.

The case against him includes failing to register in the U.S. as a lobbyist for a foreign government. On June 8, he and a Russian business associate were charged with obstruction of justice after prosecutors say they tried to persuade two potential witnesses to tell investigators the Ukraine lobbying effort did not include activity in the United States.

Manafort’s attorneys have denied the tampering allegations and accused prosecutors of conjuring charges to pressure him to flip his plea and turn against Trump and his associates.

Manafort was arraigned Friday on the obstruction counts and is set for trial in Washington in September over the allegations of secret lobbying. He also faces a federal trial in Virginia in July for related tax and bank fraud charges brought as prosecutors reviewed his financial dealings.

He had been confined to his home on electronic monitoring and other restrictions since he was first indicted Oct. 27 during Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Most of the criminal counts relate to activity that preceded Manafort’s time as Trump’s campaign manager, from March to August of 2016, when he resigned amid news reports that he had received secret cash payments for his Ukraine consulting.

Prosecutors had previously complained to the judge about Manafort’s behavior as he awaited trial. In December, they accused him of violating a court’s gag order by helping ghostwrite an op-ed piece defending his work in Ukraine for an English-language newspaper in Kiev.

Jackson, the judge, declined to punish Manafort then but warned she would likely consider similar actions in the future as a violation.

In asking for Manafort to be jailed, prosecutor Greg Andres said in court that there was a danger Manafort would continue to commit crimes.

“There is nothing on the record of this court that assures that Mr. Manafort will abide by conditions” of pre-trial release short of jail, Andres said.

Not surprisingly, President Trump has responded on Twitter:

Earlier in the day, before Manafort was in Court, Trump tried to downplay Manafort’s role in the campaign by stating that he was only part of the campaign for a short period of time. While that is true, it’s important to note that Manafort was more than just a mere campaign aide, he was the Campaign Director and he was brought on board late in the primary campaign specifically to help steer the campaign to a successful Republican National Convention. It was during that time that the Republican Party’s platform, which had previously included strong language about providing aid to the Ukrainian government in its battle against pro-Russian rebels. Thanks in no small part to Manafort’s intervention, that provision in the platform was significantly watered down, a fact that is interesting in no small part due to the fact that Manafort had previously been a paid lobbyist for the former pro-Russian government in Kiev. For Trump to try to distance himself from Manafort at this point is, quite, frankly, ridiculous.

The decision to jail Manafort before trial comes just a week after Special Counsel Robert Mueller had filed a new indictment against Manafort and an associate accusing them of seeking to influence the testimony of witnesses in the case against him currently pending in the District of Columbia, Specifically, the Special Counsel alleges that Manafort sought to get potential witnesses to say that the activities that he undertook on behalf of the former pro-Russian government of Ukraine did not take place in the United States, which would seriously undercut the prosecutors case in connection with the charge that he was an unregistered lobbyist for a foreign government. These actions, Mueller and his team argued, violated the terms of his bail agreement in that they constituted violations of the law and said that the only solution available to the Judge given the available evidence, and taking into account Manafort’s behavior since he was initially indicted, was to order him held in jail until he faces trial in the District of Columbia. Today’s ruling, which came after a hearing and a brief recess in which the Judge retired to consider her options, indicates that the Judge agreed with the Office of Special Counsel.

As a general rule, of course, the law states that Defendants facing trial should be released on bail unless there is a demonstrable risk that they will flee the jurisdiction or that there is a danger that they will commit other crimes while on pre-trial release. With regard to the first limitation, the risk that Manafort would not show up for trial was deemed to be low, especially given the fact that the Judge had ordered that he surrender his passport and placed him on an electronic monitoring system that limited him to either his home in Washington, D.C. or his home in Northern Virginia. Additionally, he was required to post a bond that would have been revoked had he failed to appear for a required court appearance. Given Manafort’s ties to the community and the reputation of his attorneys, the Judge likely concluded that there was little danger that Manafort would flee the jurisdiction.

It was on the second ground that Manafort ran afoul. Previously, Manafort had already been at risk of losing his bail late last year when it was discovered that he had ghostwritten an Op-Ed piece on behalf of his former clients in Ukraine, something that was also in violation of the conditions of his bail. The presiding Judge decided to let Manafort stay free after that matter was brought to her attention, but she made clear at the time that any further allegations of misconduct while out on jail would not be taken so lightly. This time, the allegations against Mueller are far more serious than simply ghostwriting an Op-Ed, and they include the conclusion by a Federal Grand Jury that there was probable cause to believe that Manafort and associate had sought to obstruct justice while Manafort was out on bail. Given the evidence that was before her, the Judge really didn’t have much of a choice in deciding whether or not to revoke bail, especially since Manafort had demonstrated previously that he was willing to skirt the requirements of his bail agreement.

What all this means is that Manafot is now in the custody of Federal authorities and, after processing, will be sent to a lockup either in the District of Columbia or in Alexandria, Virginia, which often houses inmates facing Federal charges due to the fact that the jail is located close to the Federal District Court in Alexandria. Manafort, of course, is also facing charges related to tax evasion and other charges in that court and is currently scheduled to go to trial on those charges beginning on July 24th after having initially been set for July 10th. Regardless of the outcome of that trial, though, he will most likely continue to sit in jail pending resolution of the charges in the District of Columbia, which are currently set to go to trial on September 17th.

In any case, whether intentional or not, today’s events are likely to yet further turn up the pressure on Manafort to consider becoming a cooperating witness in the Mueller investigation. As it stands, between the charges in D.C. and those in Virginia, he is currently facing enough potential jail time to guarantee that he would likely die in prison if he were convicted. At age 69, that could mean that Manafort spends a very long time in Federal custody and that he’d never see his family again except during permitted visits to wherever he ends up serving his sentence. Add into all of this the fact that Manafort is reportedly having trouble paying his legal bills and the pressure on him to try to make a deal with the Special Counsel, assuming that such a deal can be made or that Manafort has any information that Mueller might be interested in.

Update: Here is the order issued by Judge Amy Berman Jackson revoking Manafort’s bail:

U.S. v. Manafort by Doug Mataconis on Scribd

FILED UNDER: Crime, Law and the Courts, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Michael Reynolds says:

    The first thing that strikes you upon entering jail is just how utterly powerless you are. You lose all privacy. At some point today Paul Manafort will be bending over and spreading his butt cheeks so a guard can look in his anus for contraband.

    He’ll have no phone, no computer, no way to keep up with the news of his own arrest. He can try to get the cons in the common room to switch the TV from sports to news, but he will not be successful in that. He’ll want to make demands which will be ignored. He won’t know where to sit down in the common room, and he’ll be too clueless to realize just how fraught that choice can be.

    For lunch he’ll enjoy bologna sandwiches on white bread and a piece of fruit which he can eat. . . unless a bigger, tougher con wants it. He’ll remind his cellmates that he’s rich and can put money in their comissary accounts, thinking this will give him leverage. It won’t, it will just make him the ATM machine for anyone bigger and tougher. And everyone is bigger and tougher than a 69 year-old white guy.

    It has a rather depressing effect. Manafort will be scared. He should be, jail can be harsh. There are bad people in there.

  2. Jay L Gischer says:

    I’m surprised that Manafort has resisted cooperation this far. I am undecided as to whether this changes his mind. I would be a bit surprised if he ends up as the G. Gordon Liddy of this story (Liddy did jail time rather than cooperate with the investigation of Nixon). But I guess it’s not out of the question.

    I expect he will be in a minimum security facility, which is probably not quite as troubling as Michael Reynolds describes. Still, it does take away his cell phone. Does it take away his internet privileges entirely? I’m not sure about that.

  3. inhumans99 says:

    Doug said :assuming that such a deal can be made or that Manafort has any information that Mueller might be interested in.,” and this is what should keep Manafort up at nights (not because he is trying to keep one eye open at all times in prison). What if when he decides that President Trump is not worth the grief he is experiencing and he goes to Mueller he finds that he has nothing new to bring to the the table and no way out of his predicament other than maybe direct intervention from some high level government officials (Governor of VA, direct intervention from the White House, i.e., President Trump gets involved in freeing him from jail)?

    That is what I have started to think about, because every day that passes that folks Mueller is putting pressure on to give up the goods holds out means that Mueller and his team might end up obtaining the info they need on their own. This should give some of the folks in Mueller’s crosshairs the willies and maybe their self preservation instinct will kick in in the nick of time.

    They have to realize by now that based on President Trump’s tweet after this news that he is not their friend…right, right? President Trump being so sad about Manafort’s predicament does dick to get Manafort out of the hole he is in. Mueller is offering some folks an opportunity to flee a sinking ship but the big question is will they grab the flotation ring he is tossing them.

  4. Pylon says:

    Put him in with border detainees.

  5. mattbernius says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    I’m surprised that Manafort has resisted cooperation this far. I am undecided as to whether this changes his mind. I would be a bit surprised if he ends up as the G. Gordon Liddy of this story (Liddy did jail time rather than cooperate with the investigation of Nixon).

    I’d be really surprised. My sense is that Liddy was/is a true believer and tough enough to do the time (such that it was).

    Manafort, on the other hand, strikes me as someone who really believed himself to be the smartest person in the room and teflon. Hence how blatantly he’s fumbled the ball in terms of witness tampering. My suspicion is he’s going to fold once it becomes clear he isn’t going to get out of this.

  6. gVOR08 says:

    @inhumans99: I suspect that, except for details, Mueller already has pretty much everything they can get from Manafort. But they want someone who can sit in the witness box and tell the story.

    I expect the questioning of Trump is similar. They don’t want information, they want to firm up the case by having given him every opportunity to exculpate himself.

  7. teve tory says:

    Is Manafort in jail for anything Trump can’t pardon him of?

  8. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Dennison is already promising a pardon, through Rudy.

    “…things might get cleaned up with some Presidential pardons, when the whole thing is over…”

    Mueller is sitting there, watching an obstruction case build itself right in front of him…and Giuliani turn from lawyer to witness.
    MAGA…Many Are Getting Arrested

    In other news…the Feds claim to have put together 16 pages of material from Cohen’s shredder.

  9. teve tory says:

    Rudy Giuliani says Mueller probe ‘might get cleaned up’ with ‘presidential pardons’ in light of Paul Manafort going to jail

    ETA: Dang. Multiple Darryls beat me by 4 mins. 🙁

  10. Franklin says:

    @Jay L Gischer: Might as well follow Liddy’s path, since some still regard him as some sort of hero. (My guess is that the correlation to Trump voters is extraordinary.)

  11. Mister Bluster says:

    So Manafort has been separated from his family.
    He shouldn’t worry. It’s in the Bible. Just ask Jeff “Jesus” Sessions.

    “I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes,” the nation’s top law enforcement official said, The Washington Post reported. “Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves.
    Consistent, fair application of the law is in itself a good and moral thing, and that protects the weak and protects the lawful.”
    Washington Post

    United States Constitution Supremacy Clause
    This Constitution, (NOT YOUR HOLY BOOK) shall be the supreme Law of the Land;..

  12. Pylon says:

    Speaking of witness tampering, I see Rudy is dangling a presidential pardon in front of Manafort.

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    I expect he will be in a minimum security facility, which is probably not quite as troubling as Michael Reynolds describes. Still, it does take away his cell phone. Does it take away his internet privileges entirely? I’m not sure about that.

    He is going to a county lock-up. County is every bit as bad as Michael relates and in some ways even worse. There is nothing for one to do. No internet, no books, no nothing except your fellow inmates and your 1 hr per day in the sun (or every other day). From what I hear prison, which I’ve never been in, is a relief.

    ETA: it’s been a while since my own brief experience and things do vary from county to county, but I doubt very much it varies all that much.

  14. Kathy says:

    Isn’t it customary to protect caged VIPs?

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Trump tried to downplay Manafort’s role in the campaign by stating that he was only part of the campaign for a short period for a short period of time.

    I read somewhere else that trump said Manafort was with the campaign 47 or 49 days but it was actually 188 (?) days (the excat #s escape me at the moment but there was a very large discrepency between what trump said and reality)

    @Kathy: Oh Boy! Solitary in a county lock-up? The options just get better and better.

  16. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Jay L Gischer:
    They’re talking about putting him in DC or Alexandria jail. The feds don’t do jails, they do prisons. That’s where he’ll go next and then, yes, he’ll probably be in minimum security but that’s no sure thing given the witness-tampering. Judges don’t like that much.

    As for the Liddy option, Manafort is 69, Liddy was 44. Manafort is quite likely to die in prison.

  17. teve tory says:

    It’s hard to tell a bigger lie than to claim that your campaign chairman had “nothing to do with” your campaign. But that’s par for the course with this man.

    -martin longman

  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: trump said 49 days. Reality: 144 days. Source: NBC.

  19. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Good point about county lockup vs. a Federal pen. I still don’t understand if all the charges against him are Federal. The piece I read about him mentioned that he has cases before more than one court. If some of those are state charges, presidential pardons don’t apply.

  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jay L Gischer: As of right now it’s all federal charges, some in DC, some in VA.

  21. Yank says:

    I’m surprised that Manafort has resisted cooperation this far

    I am not.

    Manafort likely fears what the Russians will do to him more so then going to jail for the rest of his life.

  22. Stormy Dragon says:

    Saw a tweet by a Trump supporter on twitter, apparently oblivious to irony, complaining about how cruel it is to separate Manafort from his family by putting him in jail before trial.

  23. Kari Q says:

    I’ve been thinking about why Trump hasn’t issued any pardons yet, and I wonder: If Trump pardons Manafort or Flynn, wouldn’t that free the prosecutors to discuss the charges and evidence publicly, since they no longer have to worry about building the case? If so, might that play a part in holding Trump back? (Assuming he’s self-aware enough to realize that some of what the prosecutors know will not be good for him politically?)

  24. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Kari Q:

    The danger of pardons in this scenario is that they subsequently remove any ability for the pardoned to assert constitutional immunity from self-incrimination under the 5th Amendment with respect to the criminal acts they were pardoned for.

    Pardon Manafort and we gain the ability to compel him to testify under penalty of criminal contempt if he refuses. When/if he does testify, every single word can (and would) then be used against him in any subsequent state level proceedings he might be facing (and which Trump can’t protect him from).

    Whereupon he would find himself right back in jail, whether he testifies or not.

    Realistically I think Manafort is holding out in the flawed belief he will receive a pardon. It’s unlikely to ever come. Flynn has already plead guilty and cooperated.

    As to your question, though, it’s immaterial. Prosecutors reveal their case in court. Mueller isn’t going to show his cards anywhere but there, aside from having already fed much of the material to the NY AG (et al) with a mind to enabling parallel prosecution at the state level.

  25. Tyrell says:

    @HarvardLaw92: So Mueller has prosecutors and now judges. This seems like a lot of power in one person’s hands. This has gone much further out than just Russia and the election. The power to get into anyone’s cell phones, email, tax records, mail, and other private material. Just who is protecting and looking out for the regular people? This is very worrisome when you add that to the weekly hacking news. And that is just the actions that we hear about.

  26. HarvardLaw92 says:


    This rube from another age stumbling out of the cave after 50 years, squinting at the sunlight thing you have going on is adorable, even if I do suspect it’s contrived.