March 22, 2023

A federal judge just sent Trump’s campaign chairman to prison

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In a stunning reversal of fortunes for the embattled former Trump campaign chairman, US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson this morning revoked Paul Manafort’s bail and instead ordered that he be taken into custody.

The decision comes on the heels of new allegations of witness tampering in special counsel Robert Mueller’s criminal case against him.

The judge had denied his request to stay the decision pending an appeal, claiming instead that he former campaign chairman “abused” the trust placed in him six months ago.

Manafort’s lawyers argued that there should have been a clear “no contact” order added to the conditions of his release.

He is currently awaiting trial for conspiracy to defraud the United States, money laundering conspiracy, failing to disclose to the US government the extent of his work on behalf of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych and other Ukrainian entities, and making false statements.

Manafort is now the second person who will be sent to jail in the Mueller probe, following Dutch attorney Alex van der Zwaan, who previously worked with Manafort. He was sentenced to 30 days in prison for lying to federal agents.

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Manafort was promoted to Trump’s presidential campaign manager in April 2016 and resigned in August after it was discovered that he received some $12.7 million dollars for his lobbying work for Ukrainian dictator and Putinist puppet Viktor Yanukovych, who was deposed in the 2014 Euromaidan protests.

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Two weeks before Donald Trump accepted the Republican nomination at their party convention in Cleveland, Manafort was offering his former patron, Oleg Deripaska, the Russian billionaire considered one of the “two or three oligarchs closest to Putin,” “briefings” on the 2016 election race.

It was recently discovered that Manafort had previously signed a multiyear contract with Deripaska to “advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin… at the highest levels of the U.S. government — the White House, Capitol Hill and the State Department.”

“We are now of the belief that this model can greatly benefit the Putin Government if employed at the correct levels with the appropriate commitment to success,” Manafort wrote in the 2005 memo to Deripaska. The effort, Manafort wrote, “will be offering a great service that can re-focus, both internally and externally, the policies of the Putin government.”

The imprisonment of Manafort is long overdue. The man formerly known as the “Butcher’s Lobbyist” for his work representing murderous regimes in foreign countries has been immersed in corruption and criminality for decades, and it is way past time he faced the music for his actions.

On to the next one, as they say.

Brian Tyler Cohen

Managing editor

Brian Tyler Cohen is a political writer, actor, and comedy sketch director. He graduated from Lehigh University with a dual degree in English and Business. He currently lives in Los Angeles.

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