Paul Manafort, the indicted former campaign chairman for Donald Trump, told a judge that the money-laundering and tax case against him is “embellished” while urging that his $10 million bail remain in place.
Manafort shouldn’t be forced to put up property or cash to toughen his bail terms, as prosecutors have asked, because there’s no risk he’ll flee, his attorney Kevin Downing argued Thursday in a court filing. Manafort and Rick Gates, who was indicted with him, are scheduled to appear in federal court in Washington later in the day.
“The majority of Mr. Manafort’s assets — primarily real estate — are in theUnited States, not overseas, and the government knows this,” Downing wrote.
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The government’s argument that Manafort poses a serious flight risk is “imagined” and “completely ignores his strong family ties,” Downing argued. Manafort wouldn’t leave his wife of almost 40 years, his two daughters and his grandchildren in order to live the rest of his life on the run, Downing said.
Manafort and Gates, his former right-hand man, are accused of hiding their work as agents of Ukraine, laundering millions of dollars and concealing foreign accounts. Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating links between Russia and the Trump presidential campaign, revealed their indictment on Oct. 30. That same day he said former foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos had pleaded guilty and was cooperating with prosecutors.
Manafort and Gates pleaded not guilty, and a judge placed them under house arrest.
In a court filing on Tuesday, prosecutors on Mueller’s team said Manafort had given lenders wildly varying estimates of his wealth, ranging from $19 million to $136 million. Prosecutors also cited Manafort’s international travels, saying he has three current passports with different numbers.