As recently as November 30, when Paul Manafort reached a bail deal with Special Counsel Mueller’s prosecution team to end his house arrest, the indicted former Trump campaign chair was ghostwriting op-eds about his pro-Russia work in the Ukraine with a Russian contact who has ties to Kremlin intelligence.
As a result, the Special Prosecutor today petitioned the court to revoke the terms of Manafort’s bail deal, citing a lack of trust in the defendant.
The prosecution’s petition to oppose modifying the condition’s of Manafort’s release from house arrest state that:
[T]he government learned facts that are pertinent to the bail determination before the Court. We thus promptly made an application to this Court to respond on December 4, 2017 to the Court’s Order . . . Because bail is substantially about trust—in particular, whether the Court can trust that a defendant will abide by the combination of conditions designed to assure his appearance as required . . . and because the newly discovered facts cast doubt on Manafort’s willingness to comply with this Court’s Orders, Manafort’s proposed bail package does not provide the reasonable assurance required by the Bail Reform Act.
In other words, because Manafort was brazenly collaborating with Russian intelligence up to and including the day of his bail deal, he is an utterly untrustworthy flight risk and must continue to wear a GPS tracking device and remain under house arrest until the 68-year-old lobbyist for dictators goes to trial on 12 felony charges, including conspiracy against the United States.
JUST IN: Special counsel prosecutors say Paul Manafort had been ghostwriting an editorial about his political work in Ukraine as recently as Nov. 30, working with a Russian with ties to Russian intelligence https://t.co/e9ErEMSPKA
— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) December 4, 2017
Manafort’s bail deal allowed him to be released from house arrest as long as he surrendered four of his luxury properties, totaling $11.65 million, if he tried to flee the country to one of the rogue nations he’s known to represent.
Unlike General Flynn, whose $1 million legal bills have depleted his personal funds and forced him to sell his house, Manafort has millions of dollars in cash, luxury goods and properties, the configuration of which contributed to his money laundering and tax fraud charges.
Flynn’s money troubles made him agree to plead guilty to lying to the F.B.I., in exchange for his testimony against President Trump and his inner circle regarding their collusion with Russia during and after the 2016 presidential election.
Whereas Manafort has deep Russian mafia and Putin oligarch ties that disincentivize his cooperation with Mueller, as jail could prove preferable to a gory death. That fear, along with rank hubris, could also have prompted him to continue to work with Russian intelligence, even as Mueller was breathing down his neck.
It already surprised many that the stoic Mueller would allow Manafort a bail deal that would enable him to forgo what is to him a measly $11.65 million, in exchange for the opportunity to flea the country.
Hopefully, the Russia investigation team has learned that if they give this lifelong criminal an inch, he will take the 5,000 miles it takes to go from D.C. to Russia.