Judge Decides to Keep Manafort Transcripts Under Seal

Judge Manafort could spend 'the rest of his life in prison'

Greg Nash

Paul Manafort, the former campaign manager for President Donald Trump, looks like he might be looking at a lifetime in prison, according to the judge overseeing his case.

Paul Manafort, now facing charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller in two separate courts, is "a person of great wealth who has the financial means and global connections to flee and remain at large, as well as every incentive to do so", U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis wrote in an order setting bail terms.

Ellis, who is based in federal court in Alexandria at the Eastern District of Virginia, has been assigned Manafort's latest indictment brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

A federal judge in Virginia said Tuesday that if Manafort is found guilty on all charges, he faces a maximum sentence of 305 years behind bars.

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The former Trump campaign chairman faces a number of other charges as part of US Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into alleged collusion between Donald Trump's team and Russian Federation during the 2016 election. Manafort is under similar bail conditions for the case in Washington.

While Ellis did not mandate Manafort forfeit any assets, Ellis did order that the defendant agree to and sign a pledge to pay a $10 million unsecured bond if he misses a court appearance.

Manafort is set to go to trial in Virginia on July 10, and in Washington on September 17. In October, he was indicted on 12 counts in relation to his Ukraine lobbying and failure to register as a foreign agent. He has been ordered to wear two Global Positioning System monitoring anklets, or bracelets-one from each court house, and is confined to his house, with exceptions of medical emergencies, doctor appointments court dates, meetings with legal representation or religious worship.

Manafort has plead not guilty to all of the charges. As part of Gates' plea deal, he now faces just two felony counts provided he cooperates fully with the special counsel's investigators.

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Mueller's move to drop the second round of charges against Gates indicates his cooperation with the special counsel team could be yielding good information, as it pursues charges against Manafort.

If he changes his plea to guilty to avoid trial, Manafort may have to speak with prosecutors in the Russian Federation probe.

Manafort maintains his innocent and in a statement said he "hoped and expected" Gates would have "had the strength to continue the battle to prove our innocence". "For reasons yet to surface he chose to do otherwise".

Politico first reported on the new filing, dated Friday.

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