Trump's former campaign manager goes to jail for tampering witness

Former Trump campaign chairman Manafort sent to jail

Ahead of Friday's court hearing, before the judge rendered her decision, Trump once again sought to distance himself from Manafort insisting that although he served as campaign chairman for six months, he played a limited role in the campaign.

US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington D.C. cancelled Manafort's bail which had allowed him to live in his Alexandria, Virginia, apartment under house arrest, as CNN reported.

Manafort will learn whether he must await trial in prison or can remain on house arrest following allegations that he tried to obstruct the Russian Federation inquiry.

But last week, prosecutors working for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, filed two new counts of obstruction of justice against Manafort and asked that his bail be revoked because he had committed new crimes.

USA TODAY is providing live coverage outside the federal courthouse where Manafort is testifying beginning at 10:00 am ET in the player above.

"This is not middle school".

His trial in Alexandria, the U.S. state of Virginia, on bank fraud charges is set in July, and a separate one in Washington, DC, for him on charges of money laundering and fraud conspiracy is scheduled for September. Prosecutors say Manafort directed the group's work and secretly funneled more than $2 million to it to take positions favourable to Ukraine including by lobbying in the USA without disclosing that they were being paid to favourably represent the country.

Kilimnik, whom USA authorities suspect of having ties to Russian intelligence, served as Manafort's point man in Ukraine.

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"They've gone back 12 years to find things about somebody, and I don't think it's right", he said.

Andres summarized what he called "a sustained campaign over a five-week period" by Manafort to reach the two witnesses and influence their testimony.

Prosecutors argued that Manafort was a "danger to the community". Manafort has also pleaded not guilty to those charges.

In issuing her ruling, Jackson said she had "struggled" with the decision but she couldn't "turn a blind eye" to his conduct.

Manafort was indicted in that case along with longtime associate Konstantin Kilimnik.

Manafort, 69, and Kilimnik are accused of attempting to tamper with witnesses in the case by trying to get them to lie about the nature of their Ukrainian political work. They suggested the solution would be for prosecutors to identify their witnesses and then the judge can tell Manafort whom he cannot contact.

Manafort has repeatedly declared his intention to fight the charges in both jurisdictions, with his attorneys saying that he is being wrongly prosecuted for financial activities that have nothing to do with Russian interference in the 2016 election, the main focus of Mueller's investigation. The group included one unidentified former European chancellor.

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