This is a Great Example of Political Corruption…Huge Bail $10 Million Due to His Ties to President Trump-Still Doubt a Coup is Taking Place?
A judge handling one of the criminal cases against Paul Manafort has again denied bail to the former Trump campaign chairman, but this time the court gave Manafort what could amount to a financial road map to securing his release.
U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson said in an order Monday that Manafort had again fallen short in the latest of several attempts to assemble money, property and pledges to meet the $10 million bail amount she set in the money-laundering and unregistered foreign lobbying case brought against him in Washington by special counsel Robert Mueller.
The new order is the latest development in an unusually prolonged bail saga for the longtime political consultant, who has been under house arrest since his first court appearance in the case last October.
Jackson said she would not accept two properties Manafort has sought to propose as part of his bail package: a condo in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, and another property in New York City. The judge said the Alexandria property is not suitable because it was pledged to back a mortgage on Manafort’s Long Island home. She said the New York property isn’t an appropriate security because it is a focus of a separate bank-and-tax-fraud case Mueller’s prosecutors filed against Manafort in Alexandria in February.
However, Jackson said other properties could make up a bail package for Manafort, including his Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, home and his condo in Trump Tower in New York. The judge cautioned that Manafort would have to show that he “is current on his mortgage obligation” for the Trump Tower apartment. Manafort at one point fell behind on payments, something his attorneys blamed on a change in a bill-paying vendor.
The Virginia indictment has complicated the bail situation further, since Manafort is now subject to the rulings of two judges. The judge in Alexandria, T.S. Ellis III, initially ordered what he called “home incarceration” for Manafort at his Alexandria condo under conditions similar to the ones Jackson imposed.
However, Ellis has indicated he’d considering lifting some of those conditions if Manafort were to post enough money or assets to ensure that he would appear for future court dates.
In the wake of a court filing last week that revealed prosecutors’ efforts to seize funds at three banks last October, one day before Manafort and business partner Rick Gates were indicted, Jackson disclosed in her order Monday that one of the accounts prosecutors took control of was in the names of Manafort’s daughter Andrea and her husband, Christopher Shand. Jackson said that account, the value of which was not stated, was not appropriate security for Paul Manafort’s bail because of the involvement of Shand, who is not “a blood relative” of Manafort.
In a separate order on Monday, Jackson granted Manafort’s defense team a last-minute extension to argue that evidence the FBI seized from his Alexandria condo in a early morning raid last July should be barred from use against him in the Washington case. Manafort’s defense asked for the extension about 90 minutes before the Friday midnight deadline she set for such motions. She noted that she’d told both sides to submit any extension requests 48 hours ahead of time, but she approved it anyway.
Ellis has set July 10 for Manafort’s trial to open in the Virginia case, while Jackson has set a Sept. 17 trial date for Manafort in the D.C. case.