A federal judge revoked Paul Manafort’s bail Friday and ordered him to remain locked up until his trial later this year, punishing him for allegations that he tried to tamper with witnesses.
Judge Amy Berman Jackson said Mr. Manafort had been taking a cavalier approach to the court proceedings against him, and she said she was putting an end to it.
“I cannot turn a blind eye to these allegations,” she said.
Mr. Manafort, who was a top official in President Trump’s campaign, has been accused of money laundering and working as a foreign agent without reporting it to U.S. authorities. He was also charged this month with witness tampering by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who said he tried to contact several witnesses to get stories straight.
In one case Mr. Manafort reached out to suggest that he and a witness talk about the details of the investigation, saying he wanted to clear up what he said were inaccuracies. That witness was disturbed by the contact and reported it to the special counsel.
Another witness was contacted by a Manafort associate who said the defendant was looking to share with the witness his own version of “what’s going on.”
Judge Jackson said there wasn’t another option than to revoke bail.
“This is not middle school. I can’t take his cell phone,” she said.
The president addressed Mr. Manafort’s case Friday morning, telling reporters that he feels badly for his former campaign chairman.”I think a lot of it’s very unfair,” Mr. Trump said. “Manafort has nothing to do with our campaign. I feel a little badly about it — they went back 12 years to get things that he did 12 years ago. Paul Manafort worked for me for a very short period of time.”
Mr. Manafort was campaign chairman for Mr. Trump for two months in the summer of 2016, and had a lesser role in the campaign before being promoted to chairman.