Manafort Ordered by Judge to Be Held Away From Other Prisoners

(Bloomberg) -- Paul Manafort will be kept away from other prisoners while he’s in jail after allegedly tampering with potential witnesses ahead of his trial, a federal judge in Washington said Thursday.

Manafort’s bail was revoked on June 15 after prosecutors accused him of obstructing justice by contacting witnesses. He’s currently at the Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw, Virginia. In ordering him to be held apart, Judge Amy Berman Jackson also said Manafort should “be afforded reasonable opportunity” to consult with his lawyer and be accompanied by a federal marshal on his trips to court.

Jackson didn’t explain her reasons for separating him, saying only that “the defendant shall be confined in a corrections facility separate, to the extent practicable, from persons awaiting or service sentences or being held in custody pending appeal.”

Manafort, who served as President Donald Trump’s campaign manager, is fighting charges by Special Counsel Robert Mueller that he failed to register in the U.S. as an agent of Ukraine, laundered millions of dollars and has obstructed justice by reaching out to witnesses. Those charges will go to trial before Jackson in September. In July, he’s due to stand trial in Virginia on tax and bank fraud charges also brought by Mueller.

The order came shortly after Jackson issued another order, denying his request to suppress evidence taken by the FBI from a storage locker in Virginia. Manafort claimed that because agents had been allowed to look inside his storage locker before applying for their search warrant in May 2017, his right to protection from unlawful search and seizure had been violated, thus the evidence was “tainted.”

Jackson said the FBI agents didn’t need a warrant to enter the storage locker since a Manafort employee gave them permission to look around. The agents saw boxes and a filing cabinet but didn’t open them until after they got a search warrant.

The Manafort cases are U.S. v. Manafort, 17-cr-201, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington), and 18-cr-83, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria).

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.