Update: In what some will inevitably read as a hint that President Trump might pardon him some day, Trump has weighed in on a judge's decision to revoke Manafort's house arrest and have him returned to prison, where he will wait until trial. In a tweet, Trump remarks about Manafort's "tough sentence", saying he didn't realize that Manafort "was the head of the Mob."
Trump also noted how unfair it is that Manafort is being sent to prison while former FBI Director James Comey is barely facing any legal scrutiny.
Wow, what a tough sentence for Paul Manafort, who has represented Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other top political people and campaigns. Didn’t know Manafort was the head of the Mob. What about Comey and Crooked Hillary and all of the others? Very unfair!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2018
I’ve had to beat 17 very talented people including the Bush Dynasty, then I had to beat the Clinton Dynasty, and now I have to beat a phony Witch Hunt and all of the dishonest people covered in the IG Report...and never forget the Fake News Media. It never ends!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2018
* * *
It seems Special Counsel Robert Mueller finally has Paul Manafort right where he wants him - behind bars.
The judge overseeing the case against the former Trump campaign executive has ruled that the witness tampering charges levied against Manafort a week ago are serious enough to justify canceling his house arrest terms. Manafort will now be sent to jail to wait out the remainder of the time until his trial, Bloomberg reports.
This is a coup for Mueller - who has been trying to exert as much pressure as possible on Manafort to try to convince him to cooperate against his former boss.
Paul Manafort hurries into courthouse to sparse chants of "Lock him up!" pic.twitter.com/rG4PBSaXjS— Evan McMurry (@evanmcmurry) June 15, 2018
Video footage recorded earlier showed Manafort heading into court as a group of maybe two or three people chanted "lock him up."
According to NBC News, Judge Amy Berman Jackson said that Manafort’s repeated attempts to contact a witness constituted a danger to the integrity of the court. She added she couldn’t propose another, less restrictive, order. "This isn’t middle school, I can’t take your phone," Jackson said. Manafort was indicted on conspiracy and money laundering charges back in October, and has since been charged with tax fraud and failing to report foreign bank accounts in a separate case in Virginia - a case that is due to go to trial in July. And of course last week Mueller filed a superseding indictment charging Manafort and Ukrainian associate Konstantin Kilimnik with obstruction and witness tampering. Both men were also due to be arraigned on those charges today.
One of Mueller's witnesses for the "witness tampering" charge said he felt an attempted outreach by Manafort was intended to "subborn perjury." Of course, none of the charges Manafort is facing stem from his work for Trump.