Judge Drops Heavy Legal Orders On Manafort & Gates If They Want To Stay Out Of Jail

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Last week, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his aide and business partner, Rick Gates, were arrested and charged with a variety of crimes, including conspiracy against the US government and money laundering.

They were then placed on house arrest pending trial. Both have pursued bail to get off of house arrest. While the judge has said she is “open to” allowing them to post bail, no agreement has been reached as to the amount, and both defendants pose a serious flight risk. For now, Manafort and Gates will have to stay at home with ankle monitors.

With that in mind, they have now both been ordered to remain on house arrest either until the trial is finished, or until an accommodation is reached for bail. Basically, the government wants them to put up more money to guarantee they will not flee the country, and until that happens, they’re staying on house arrest.

Here’s more via USA Today:

‘A federal judge on Monday ordered former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates to remain under house arrest  with their movements tracked by GPS devices – until they offer up more bail money to assure their future appearances in court.

‘”We are not talking about dangerousness,” Jackson said in a brief hearing Monday morning. “We’re talking about (the risk of) flight.”

‘Their lawyers have struggled to come to an agreement with prosecutors over how much money they should have to put up before they are allowed to leave their homes. Prosecutors said the effort has been complicated because the men control a tangle of bank accounts, properties and other assets, many of which are connected to charges that they moved tens of millions of dollars through overseas banks during the past decade.

‘Jackson said Manafort had pledged three personal properties totaling $7.5 million. While the judge said the properties were “a good start, it doesn’t begin to cover” the $10 million in secured assets sought by the court.

‘Prosecutors said they were further from reaching a bail agreement for Gates, Manafort’s business associate who also worked on Trump’s campaign. He had promised to put up his house in Richmond, Va., as well as unspecified assets controlled by his parents.’

At least one property that Manafort put up, his condo in Trump tower, is suspected to be worth much less than the value he has assigned it.

Also, there’s a strong argument to be made that the exact crimes that Manafort is accused of – evading US laws, conspiring against the government, and laundering money for foreign interests as well as to avoid taxes – make him a unique flight risk. He has the contacts and money to disappear.

Here’s more:

Really, they should feel lucky. If they weren’t people of privilege being investigated for white collar crimes, they would not be on house arrest. They wouldn’t have been released under their own recognizance. They’d be in jail, which is where they may very well end up after the trial is over.

Many users on Twitter responded similarly to the news of their house arrest:

Featured image via Alex Wong/Getty Images

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