Paul Manafort Is Going to Jail

Trump reacted angrily—and incorrectly—to the news.

Bill Clark/Congressional Quarterly/Newscom via ZUMA Press

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman is going to jail.

A federal judge ordered Paul Manafort on Friday to stay behind bars after special counsel Robert Mueller accused Manafort of witness tampering, the latest charge in a laundry list of allegations resulting from his lobbying in Ukraine on behalf of a pro-Russian politician.

Manafort is still awaiting trial in Washington on charges that include federal conspiracy and money laundering. Prosecutors allege that his undisclosed lobbying was part of a scheme to launder more than $30 million.

Manafort has not been sentenced. Yet, Trump tweeted the following shortly after his former campaign chairman was ordered to jail:

The judge’s decision marks a stunning fall for the longtime Republican power broker, who was hired by the Trump campaign in March 2016 to help corral delegates for the eventual Republican nominee. After a power struggle with Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s first campaign manager, Manafort assumed the reins of the campaign before departing in August 2016 amid revelations of his foreign entanglements.

Mueller’s team said in court filings that between 2006 and 2015, Manafort advised former Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych, who fled to Russia after the Ukrainian revolution in 2014.

US District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson did not specify when Manafort would need to report to prison or where he would be held. Her order came “after Manafort had been asking to post a $10 million bond and end seven months of home detention,” according to the Washington Post.

Jackson said in court that she was required to show that Manafort posed a danger before ordering him to stay in jail. Even though she did not believe Manafort posed a violent threat, she said he met the legal requirement regardless. “The harm in this case is to the administration of justice,” she said. “The harm is to the integrity of this court.”

The judge rejected a request from Manafort’s attorneys for him to remain under house arrest but refrain from using electronic devices. (Manafort is accused of witness tampering by phone and text.) “This is not middle school,” she said. “I can’t take away his phone.”

Manafort has been confined to his home, but on June 4, Mueller accused him of attempting to sway witnesses into lying for him in court.

Dan Friedman contributed reporting to this story.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend