Judge issues gag order in Manafort case

Former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort leaves the courthouse in Washington D.C. after a bond hearing | Shawn Thew  EPA

Judge Amy Berman Jackson on Wednesday said the request is important to constrain the effect on potential members of the jury.

Manafort led Trump's campaign for several months, and with Gates, his business associate, as a deputy.

The ruling applied to all participants in the case, including the parties, potential witnesses and attorneys.

Jackson had previously warned lawyers about discussing the case publicly after Manafort defense lawyer Kevin Downing made a defiant statement outside the courthouse following his client's arraignment on Monday.

Manafort and Gates were indicted last week on 12 counts, including includes charges of conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money and unregistered agent of a foreign principal.

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Jackson's order is consistent with the local rules in federal court in Washington, she noted, in widely publicized cases.

The charges against Manafort and Gates stem from special counsel Robert Mueller's probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

Lawyers have been urged to make arguments in court and 'not on the courthouse steps'.

The rules are targeted at comments likely to affect the outcome of a trial or the impartiality of jurors. Both are now confined to their homes on personal recognizance bonds with electronic monitoring, though the parties are negotiating revised release terms with Mueller's prosecutors. Jackson set a December 11 hearing to set a scheduling for a trial as early as April.

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