Ex-Trump campaign head Manafort sent to jail ahead of his trial

Paul Manafort sent to jail over witness-tampering charges

A federal judge on Friday ordered ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort to jail, revoking his house arrest as he awaited the outcome of separate trials on charges of money laundering and fraud.

The 69-year-old had been under house arrest since his first indictments from Mueller last October, but the federal judge revoked the bail after the Mueller's office accused Manafort of witness tampering and indicted him last Friday on obstruction of justice charges. Prosecutors argued that Manafort was a "danger to the community".

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.

Others joined in speculation whether Paul Manafort would now have the motivation to flip on Trump, especially given what looks to be increasingly aggressive tactics from Robert Mueller to put the squeeze on Donald Trump's former campaign manager.

He had been on home confinement in Alexandria, Virginia, and had been required to wear an electronic monitoring device.

He has also pleaded not guilty to those charges.

Mr Manafort will remain in jail while he awaits trial in both Washington and Virginia over the next few months. He gave a quick wave to his wife as he was taken into custody and led out of the courtroom.

Manafort served as Trump's campaign chairman from March 29, 2016 until August 19 of the same year.

President Trump tweeted sympathy for Manafort after the ruling, but only hours before, virtually disavowed him, saying "Paul Manafort worked for me for a short period of time". But today USA district judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled that Manafort abused the trust of the court by tampering with two witnesses in his case.

After hearing arguments in court Friday, Judge Jackson described from the bench what she called "an extraordinarily hard decision", but cited the weight of allegations against Manafort.

And on Thursday New York's attorney general sued the president and members of his family, referring possible tax crimes at Trump's charitable foundation to the Internal Revenue Service.

The charges do not relate to Manafort's work on the Trump campaign or involve allegations of Russian election interference, a fact that the president has routinely noted as he tried to distance himself from his former top campaign adviser.

It was not immediately clear where Manafort would be jailed.

"I have no appetite for this", she 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.

The Manafort case focuses on his work between 2004 and 2014 in Ukraine for pro-Russia politicians including former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych.

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