Trump’s ex-campaign manager Paul Manafort sent to jail ahead of trial

Paul Manafort sent to jail over witness-tampering charges

On a historic day in American politics, President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort was taken to jail Friday afternoon ahead of his trial in the case brought against him by special counsel Robert Mueller.

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.

The witnesses worked with Manafort in organizing a group of former European officials who lobbied within the USA without registering as required by law.

Now he is going to jail, giving special counsel Robert Mueller the maximum possible leverage to flip the longtime political operator against the U.S. president.

In a separate development, Mr Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani said that there is a "good chance" that the president will decide next week whether he will sit down for an interview with Mr Mueller. "I can't take his cellphone", she said of Manafort.

Mr Manafort chaired the Trump campaign for just two months before resigning in August 2016 after a news report he had received possibly illegal payments from the political party of Ukraine's former, pro-Russian president.

No one on the campaign, including Manafort, has been charged with a crime directly related to Russian attempts to sway the election. "They went back 12 years to get things that he did 12 years ago". "Paul Manafort worked for me for a very short period of time".

Mueller, whose investigation has overshadowed Trump's 18-month-old presidency, is looking into whether any Trump campaign associates coordinated with Russian Federation and whether Trump has unlawfully sought to obstruct the probe.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Manafort, 69, had been under house detention while awaiting trial later this year in Washington and in Virginia.

Manafort will remain in jail while he awaits two trials in the next few months.

Trump got asked about Manafort this morning on the White House North Lawn, after he staged his spontaneous visit to Fox & Friends station on the lawn.

Manafort and his associate, Konstantin Kilimnik, were also set to be arraigned on obstruction charges tied to the witness tampering allegation. A lawyer for the witness told prosecutors that Manafort said, "This is Paul, Paul Manafort". Kilimnik, whom Mueller's office says has ties to Russian intelligence, could not be reached for comment.

Manafort's attorneys claim that Mueller hasn't provided them with a witness list so that they don't know whom Manafort should be forbidden to contact. He faces two trials on bank- and tax fraud charges: one on September 17 in Washington, D.C., and another on July 25 in Alexandria, Virginia. But I feel so - I tell you, I feel a little badly about it. Manafort hasn't been convicted of any crimes or sentenced to prison.

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