WASHINGTON – Paul Manafort has lost his bid to get out of jail while appealing a trial judge’s order that put him there.
A three-judge U.S. Court of Appeals panel in Washington on Thursday denied the former Trump campaign chairman’s bid for freedom, saying he’d not shown them that his request should be granted before they rule on his underlying challenge.
Washington federal court Judge Amy Berman Jackson sent Manafort to jail on June 15 for violating the terms of his pre-trial release by attempting to contact potential witnesses.
Manafort, 69, is charged with money laundering and failure to disclose his lobbying for the pro-Russian government of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych. In a separate case pending in Alexandria, Virginia, he also faces bank fraud and tax-related charges. He has pleaded not guilty in both cases.
Originally confined to the Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw, Virginia, Manafort complained the lock-up was too far away from the courts and his attorneys, making it effectively impossible for him to prepare for trial. Still, when Alexandria federal judge T.S. Ellis III ordered him transferred to a facility closer to the courthouse, the former international political consultant rebelled, arguing he was better off staying put.
Manafort was booked into the Alexandria Detention Center Thursday. The judge had instructed jailers to let him meet with lawyers at least eight hours a day for the next two weeks. His trial in Alexandria is set for July 25. The Washington trial is scheduled for Sept. 17.
Ellis will hear arguments next week on Manafort’s request to postpone the Alexandria trial as well as his bid to have the trial moved to Roanoke or Richmond, Virginia, where his lawyers say press coverage has been less intense.