Judge Won't Free Manafort From House Arrest, Yet

Cheryl Sanders
November 6, 2017

A U.S. District judge again declined to ease bail conditions for President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort and his business associate Richard Gates on Monday, saying they still needed to provide more financial information.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington said at a hearing Monday that she is prepared to revise the release conditions for Manafort, 68, and Gates, 45, once prosecutors better understand the assets the men can pledge to secure their freedom. "We're going to continue to have those discussions today". They have pleaded not guilty.

The two men appeared before the judge Monday for the third time after they were indicted last week.

Prosecutor Greg Andres, part of special counsel Robert Mueller's team looking into possible collusion a year ago between Trump's presidential campaign and Russian operatives, said Manafort is worth "somewhere in the neighborhood of $28 million". The 12-count indictment against Manafort and Gates includes charges of conspiracy, money laundering, being an unregistered foreign agent and failure to pay taxes on millions earned as a lobbyist for the former Ukrainian government.

Both remain on Global Positioning System monitoring and are not allowed to leave the country. "We're talking about flight". The government lawyers, however, did appear willing to take a lower bond package worth $10 million, and allowing Manafort to travel to NY and Florida for business reasons.

Government and defense attorneys hope to present a proposed package of assets from Manafort and Gates by Monday afternoon. Manafort is seeking permission to travel to NY where he has clients, as well as Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where his attorney Kevin Downing said he has a telecommunications business involving secure and "virtually indestructible" cell phones.

But his wife and daughter may need to offer up their own assets to secure Manafort's bond, Manafort attorney Kevin Downing said.

He also offered to pledge his $3 million apartment in Trump Tower in NY; a $3.5 million apartment in lower Manhattan; a $1.5 million home in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida; and life insurance policies worth $4.5 million. Prosecutors said in an indictment unsealed last week that the search "revealed numerous documents, including documents related to lobbying".

Jackson's original intention was to lift the home confinement but ordered that both men stay away from transportation facilities and continue to be tracked by a Global Positioning System monitor, she said, but said she will "keep an open mind".

Manafort's bail was previously set at $10 million, and Gates' was half that.

Jackson said the charges against Manafort suggest he's an expert in global investment and other complex issues, so she's still concerned about Manafort's and Gates' potential to flee. They don't want him to travel outside Virginia, New York and Florida. She is also considering a ban on global travel and travel outside the Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Virginia, areas where the two men live.

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