Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is officially booked into jail

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is officially booked into jail

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is officially booked into jail

Mr Manafort was accused of using encrypted mobile phone apps to contact people in breach of his bail terms.

Both men turned themselves in just minutes before the Federal Bureau of Investigation revealed the indictments, which also included conspiracy to launder money received from pro-Russian Ukrainian groups, failing to register as a foreign agent, false statements, and multiple counts of failing to file reports for foreign bank accounts.

"I can not turn a blind eye", US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said on Friday. "I can't take away his cellphone", she said during the 90-minute court hearing.

Mr Trump said it was "very unfair" and called it "a tough sentence", although Mr Manafort has not gone on trial yet.

President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani suggested on Friday that President Donald Trump will not pardon anyone involved in the Russian Federation investigation while the probe is ongoing, but emphasized that the President will not "give up his right to pardon" either.

Ex FBI director Robert Muller
Ex FBI director Robert Muller

A federal judge revoked bail conditions for Manafort after special counsel Robert Mueller accused Manafort of witness tampering.

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 pro-Russian former politician and party in Ukraine.

Trump continued to distance himself from Manafort, saying his situation has "nothing to do with my campaign" and only worked for him for under 50 days.

The president has called Mueller's investigation a witch hunt and has denied wrongdoing. Confronting possible criminal charges in New York, Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen may have a similar choice ahead of him.

That may be exactly what Mr Manafort is counting on.

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Manafort is facing trials in Virginia and Washington, DC, with the former scheduled to start in July.

The geographic focus of the lobbying effort could be a critical question at Manafort's trial in the case since US law only requires that lobbyists for foreign governments or political parties register if their efforts target American government officials or audiences in the U.S.

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.

Jackson's ruling came in response to an indictment handed up last week charging Manafort, and longtime associate Konstantin Kilimnik, with obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice, adding to the multiple felony counts he already faced. They filed a memo written by one of the witnesses for Manafort that his attorneys say shows the work of the group, known as the Hapsburg group, was European focused.

Media captionManafort's indictment: Where did all the money go?

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Manafort, who was indicted on witness tampering charges last week, had asked to remain on house arrest until his first trial on September 17.

Before Friday, Manafort had been largely confined to his home, tethered to two Global Positioning System ankle monitors while awaiting a trial set for the early fall.

He was indicted after Federal Bureau of Investigation agents seized documents from his home in a pre-dawn raid in July past year.

But she said that even if she explicitly ordered Manafort never to contact any of the government's 56 witnesses, she could not be certain he would comply. "The government's motion is granted". Andres said the witness told Manafort that he couldn't talk and hung up. The distinction matters because unregistered foreign lobbying in the United States is a crime, while lobbying exclusively in Europe would be outside the special counsel's jurisdiction.

President Trump's former campaign chairman will spend at least the next several weeks behind bars.

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So far, four former Trump campaign officials have been indicted by Mr Mueller.

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