A federal judge on Friday ordered Paul Manafort to be held in jail pending trial, landing a significant legal blow to the former Trump campaign chairman in his battle with the special counsel Robert Mueller.
The heat is on as at the same time as Manafort was being told he would be held in jail back in New York City there was another blockbuster bit of news being made. Former personal lawyer to President Donald Trump, Michael Cohen, indicated to family and friends he is willing to cooperate with federal investigators to alleviate the pressure on himself and his family, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Meanwhile, back in D.C. Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson agreed with prosecutors that Manafort should be locked up until his trial on money laundering and a slew of other charges, scheduled for September.
Manafort allegedly contacted individuals overseas and tried to get them to falsely testify in his case in his favor.
Manafort was indicted by a grand jury as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election.
Mueller filed a superseding indictment against Manafort, who was already facing multiple charges related to financial crime, accusing him of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice.
Manafort has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Sending the 69-year-old Manafort to jail could boost the pressure on him to cut a deal with special counsel Mueller, who’s main task is to probe alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential election. However, it’s unclear what information the former Trump campaign chief could provide that would interest prosecutors enough to offer significant concessions.
There is also always the chance he could get a pardon from President Trump somewhere down the line.