Paul Manafort jailed following obstruction of justice charges

Manafort entered his not-guilty plea in federal court Friday

Manafort entered his not-guilty plea in federal court Friday

As Newsweek noted, the judge's action sparked immediate speculation that Paul Manafort may now begin cooperating with prosecutors and helping to build a case against Donald Trump, which could lead to his impeachment.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Mr Manafort (right) was briefly Mr Trump's campaign manager in 2016 How is the Mueller investigation going?

But Manafort is merely facing charges, and is jailed as he awaits trial.

Mueller is prosecuting Manafort in two venues, in the District of Columbia on charges of lobbying for foreign governments without complying with the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), and in Virginia on charges of tax and bank fraud for his lobbying work dating back a decade.

He also faces a related trial in the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) court. It's not clear exactly what Manafort knows, but he does appear to be a linchpin between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation.

His jailing Friday came after he was accused of attempting to tamper with witnesses in his criminal case while he was on house arrest.

Just hours before the Judge Jackson sent Manafort to jail, Trump told reporters during an impromptu appearance on the White House lawn that he "felt badly" for Manafort being investigated because the alleged crimes occurred years prior to Manafort joining the Trump campaign. Within hours of the judge's decision to revoke Manafort's bail, the president tweeted: "Wow, what a tough sentence for Paul Manafort, who has represented Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other top political people and campaigns".

"This is not middle school", Jackson said at one point. Manafort pleaded not guilty to the charges in the superseding indictment that added the obstruction and conspiracy charges.

Dirty Den: EastEnders actor Leslie Grantham dies aged 71
His agent said he died on Friday morning and that a private funeral will be held. "My heart goes out to his loved ones". According to The Sun, close friends and pals in the showbiz industry had been visiting him in hospital this week.

An inmate database showed that President Donald Trump's former campaign chief was booked into the Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw, Va., at 8:22 p.m. Jail records listed his housing unit as "VIP-1".

The new indictment charged Manafort and Kilimnik with obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice related to contacts they had with two witnesses earlier this year.

Manafort was accused of sending WhatsApp messages in an effort to influence witness testimony.

The communications were an "effort to influence their testimony and to otherwise hide evidence", FBI Special Agent Brock Domin wrote in a separate declaration filed to the court. He had been confined to his home on electronic monitoring and other restrictions since he was first indicted October 27 during special counsel Robert Mueller III's probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges. "Didn't know Manafort was the head of the Mob".

If convicted at trial, Manafort faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life in custody.

Manafort's legal defense fund asked in a Twitter post, "Why is he the target of a partisan investigation?" echoing a theme of Mr Trump and his supporters that the Mueller inquiry is a political witch hunt.

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