Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is being kept in solitary confinement 23 hours per day, The Hill reports.
Manafort’s attorney, Kevin Downing, wrote the following in an appeal for his client’s release, published on Courthouse News.
“Defendant Paul J. Manafort, Jr. is currently facing two federal criminal trials in separate districts: One is set to begin on July 25, the other on September 17. The decision under review, revoking Mr. Manafort’s bail less than 45 days before the first of those impending trials, makes it effectively impossible for Mr. Manafort to prepare for them. Mr. Manafort, moreover, is now housed in solitary confinement because the facility cannot otherwise guarantee his safety. He is locked in his cell for at least 23 hours per day (excluding visits from his attorneys), at a facility approximately two hours from his legal team.”
As CNBC reported on June 15, following Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s witness tampering charges, Paul Manafort’s bail was revoked, and he was sent to jail. Prior to the event, Manafort had been under house arrest, facing numerous charges as part of Mueller’s Russia probe.
But, Manafort’s lawyers are also arguing that their client needs to be released from jail since the witness tampering charges brought up by Mueller’s team do not allege threats of physical violence. In response to these claims, Mueller’s legal team has opposed Manafort lawyer’s requests for release, claiming in a separate court filing that former Trump campaign chairman’s influence on witnesses was damaging, although not violent.
— The Hill (@thehill) July 6, 2018
As The Hill notes, apart from facing numerous charges related to financial crime, Manafort is also being charged with obstruction of justice, and conspiracy to obstruct justice, including witness tampering. According to the same outlet, Manafort’s jailing caused speculation that former Trump campaign chairman could break under pressure and start cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s legal team. That does not seem to have happened yet.
Manafort may not be backing down, but neither is Robert Mueller. As Politico recently noted, following Justice Department Inspector General’s report, Donald Trump and his allies further pressured Mueller to end the probe. Manafort’s jailing, however, seems to have only accelerated it, and Mueller is now steamrolling Trump’s campaign against him, showing no signs of slowing down.
Donald Trump’s potential firing of Robert Mueller would be a risky move and require quite a bit of legal and political maneuvering. As the Inquisitr previously reported, in the event of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s firing Trump would be dangerously close to impeachment territory, at least according to conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, who would consider Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s – and therefore Robert Mueller’s – firing a valid enough of a reason for impeachment.