Judge Won't Free Manafort From House Arrest, Yet


Former Indian American US Attorney Preet Bharara said that he believes that Paul Manafort, who served as President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, may "flip" and provide damaging information on other political associates in exchange for a favourable plea deal.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said Monday that she is prepared to modify the conditions of Manafort and Gates' release - but indicated she does not yet have the information she needs to approve a new bail package.

Their trial isn't set to begin until May 2018, but cabin fever is already setting in.

The judge's bond ruling is expected before the December court date.

Manafort may owe $10 million if he violates his release terms, while Gates could owe $5 million if he violates his terms.

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In court papers, Manafort has pledged $12.5 million in assets to guarantee that he'll show up for future court appearances.

They were released into home confinement with Global Positioning System monitoring on $10 million and $5 million unsecured bail bonds last week and are now petitioning the court for more flexible conditions.

Unfortunately for Manafort, Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team hasn't determined if the real estate Manafort has offered as collateral (a Trump Tower apartment, a condo in New York's Chinatown neighborhood, and a house in Palm Beach, Florida) is worth as much as he claimed in his offer to the court.

The value of the Trump Tower condo on Fifth Avenue in NY is also a question mark, the federal authorities said.

The Pretrial Services Agency for D.C. states that defendants placed under HISP are considered "high safety or appearance risks" who "need an increased level of supervision through weekly contact, drug testing, and/or location monitoring". They said the $18 million in assets that prosecutors seek to seize if he's convicted "would wipe out a substantial portion of Mr. Manafort's wealth accumulated over a lifetime of work". The two surrendered October 30 to Justice Department authorities following a 12-count indictment that includes charges of conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money and unregistered agent of a foreign principal. The charges precede their involvement with Trump's campaign. The two have pleaded not guilty.