UPDATED with Trump tweet: “Wow, what a tough sentence for Paul Manafort, who has represented Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other top political people and campaigns,” President Donald Trump tweeted after news networks showed footage of his former campaign manager heading to jail after a judge revoked his bail on witness tampering allegations.
“Didn’t know Manafort was the head of the Mob,” Trump snarked. “What about Comey and Crooked Hillary and all of the others? Very unfair.”
For accuracy sake: Manafort was not, as Trump tweeted, “sentenced.”
Anyway, here is that tweet:
Previous: Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, was in court today to ask a federal judge to spare him a stint in the slammer. Instead, the judge revoked Manafort’s bail and ordered him to jail.
Two weeks earlier, special counsel Robert Mueller lobbed new accusations of witness tampering against Manafort. Today, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson followed up, revoking the bail that had enabled Manafort to enjoy house arrest after pleading not guilty on charges of foreign lobbying violations. When Manafort was arraigned and pleaded not guilty back in October, bail was set at $10 million and his passports were confiscated.
Late last summer, FBI agents raided the Virginia home of Trump’s former short-tenured campaign guru, using a search warrant to seize documents and other materials, appearing at Manafort’s home without advance warning in the predawn hours, WaPo reported back then citing people familiar with the Mueller-led special counsel probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Manafort also pleaded not guilty to two new charges last week: witness tampering and conspiracy to obstruct justice. That brings Manafort’s grand total to seven criminal charges in DC federal court.
Three U.S. marshals led Manafort out of the courtroom into the prisoner holding area immediately after the judge’s ruling, CNN reported. Trump’s former campaign adviser is faced with the prospect of decades in jail on his charges.
Trump got asked about Manafort this morning on the White House North Lawn, after he staged his spontaneous visit to Fox & Friends stationed on the lawn. Trump continued to distance himself from Manafort, saying, in accurately, his situation has “nothing to do with my campaign” and that Manafort only worked for him for under 50 days – by which he meant five months.