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Judge orders Paul Manafort to jail pending trial following charges of witness tampering

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort arrives at the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse for a hearing on Friday in Washington, D.C. A federal judge ordered Manafort to jail, where he will stay until his trial in September. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

A federal judge on Friday ordered former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort to jail, pending his trial.

Until the judge's order, Manafort had been under house arrest and had been trying to get his house arrest restrictions lightened. After the order, Manafort's wallet, belt, and tie were taken from him and given to his wife, who was standing in the courtroom.

Why did the judge order this?

Special counsel Robert Mueller's team said last week that they had evidence that Manafort told witnesses in his trial to lie about the work they did for him. Mueller's team said that Manfort had been trying to contact people he lobbied with to make sure that they knew to say that he had paid them for political work in Europe, but not in the United States.

These witness tampering allegations were brought before D.C. Federal Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who decided that they were significant enough to revoke Manafort's house arrest agreement and send him to jail.

Jackson said that she "cannot turn a blind eye to this," adding, "You have abused the trust placed in you six months ago."

Manafort's trial will begin in September. He will remain in jail until then.

What is the defense saying?

Defense attorneys argued that Manafort had been ignorant about who the witnesses in his trial were. They said that if the prosecution would reveal who the witnesses are, Manafort could be ordered not to make contact with them.

"This will not happen again," Richard Westling, one of the defense attorneys, promised.

Remind me again, why is Manafort on trial?

Manafort is set to appear in Federal Court in Washington, D.C., to face felony charges connected to his political work in Ukraine. The charges include failing to register as a foreign agent, lying to investors, and conspiracy to launder money.

Manafort also faces 18 separate criminal charges in a federal court in Virginia. That case is scheduled to begin in late July.

One last thing…
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