Published: Sun, June 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

President Trump: Paul Manafort going to jail is "very unfair"

President Trump: Paul Manafort going to jail is

Paul Manafort was sent to jail Friday by a federal judge who said she couldn't turn a blind eye to claims that he attempted to tamper with witnesses, adding pressure on President Donald Trump's former campaign manager to cooperate with a USA probe of Russian election meddling. Manafort pleaded not guilty to that charge on Friday but U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington revoked his bail, sending him to jail.

Manafort, a target of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 USA election, has been indicted on mostly financial-related charges, including conspiring to launder money and defraud the United States.

On June 8, Mr Mueller brought fresh charges against Mr Manafort and a Russian associate, alleging Mr Manafort contacted two government witnesses the day after his indictment and sustained a five-week campaign asking them to tell investigators his lobbying in Ukraine did not involve the United States.

Trump on Friday told reporters, "I always liked Michael Cohen".

Mr Trump said Mr Manafort worked for him for "a very short period of time".

In a tweet, Trump said the decision to revoke Manafort's bail is "tough", although he referred to it as a "sentence".

The federal judge in Virginia has challenged Mueller's pursuit of old financial dealings as an effort to pressure Manafort into giving damaging information on President Donald Trump.

The new indictment charged Manafort and Kilimnik with obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice related to contacts they had with two witnesses earlier this year.

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

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"If you tuned into another station, you'd be seeing the top story about how Paul Manafort was sent to jail", he says.

Manafort has pleaded not guilty to almost two dozen charges as part of the Russian Federation investigation being conducted by the special counsel Robert Mueller.

Giuliani also said the President has told his attorneys, "I haven't pardoned anybody".

None of the current charges against Manafort connect back to Trump.

Manafort's attorneys have accused prosecutors of conjuring a "sinister plot" out of "innocuous" contacts.

Now just a week later, Manafort has been sent to jail and will remain there until his next court date in September. In December, Mueller's team asked the court to revise the terms of Manafort's release after they learned he was ghostwriting an op-ed about his lobbying work for Ukraine while out on bail.

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

Manafort, 69, and Kilimnik are accused of attempting to tamper with witnesses in the case by trying to get them to lie about the nature of their Ukrainian political work.

Kilimnik has been "assessed" by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to have ties with Russian intelligence, though the businessman denies this.

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