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Judge Issues Gag Order in Manafort Case

Judge Issues Gag Order in Manafort Case

Judge wants the defendants to receive a fair trial.

A judge has issued a gag order in the case of former President Donald Trump chairman Paul Manafort and his protege Rick Gates. From Politico:

U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson’s directive Wednesday doesn’t ban such statements outright, but prohibits any remarks that “pose a substantial likelihood of material prejudice to this case.”

At a hearing last week, Jackson urged lawyers to make their arguments in court and “not on the courthouse steps.” She also appeared to criticize a statement one of Manafort’s lawyers made outside court calling the charges against his client “ridiculous.”

Judge Jackson wants to limit comments and statements as a way “to safeguard defendants’ rights to a fair trial, and to ensure that the court has the ability to seat a jury that has not been tainted by pretrial publicity.”

Manafort and Gates became the first ones charged in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into supposed collusion between Trump and Russia during the presidential campaign.

Mueller received permission to expand his investigation if he came across anything. The charges against Manafort and Gates include:

Conspiracy against the United States
Conspiracy to launder money
Unregistered agent of a foreign principal
False and misleading FARA (Foreign Agents Registration Unit) statements
False statements
Seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts

From The New York Times:

Mr. Gates is a longtime protégé and junior partner of Mr. Manafort. His name appears on documents linked to companies that Mr. Manafort’s firm set up in Cyprus to receive payments from politicians and businesspeople in Eastern Europe, records reviewed by The New York Times show.

Mr. Manafort had been under investigation for violations of federal tax law, money laundering and whether he appropriately disclosed his foreign lobbying.

Manafort and Gates have remained under house arrest “until their attorneys can reach an agreement with the government.” from Fox News:

In a hearing Monday, a federal judge said she’s inclined to remove from house arrest the former chairman of President Donald Trump’s campaign and his business associate. But U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson did not immediately rule at Monday’s court session, saying she needs more financial information from Manafort and Gates.

Manafort has offered up his three residences and life insurance policies toward a $10 million bail. Gates has offered up his residence and life insurance policies toward his $5 million bail.


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Let me translate: “The Prosecution may continue to leak both incriminating evidence and pure fantasy, while the Defense will be gigged every time they try to refute stories the press will happily run 24/7. Then, once the jury pool has been hopelessly contaminated and Manafort’s reputation has been sent down the toilet, the Prosecution will offer a plea to a lesser charge, possibly on the level of shoplifting or jaywalking, under the understanding that if he is charged with A loudly enough, and pleads guilty to B, everybody will think he is still guilty of A for the next century.”

About right?

    Ghost Rider in reply to georgfelis. | November 8, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Sounds about right.

    Edward in reply to georgfelis. | November 8, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    You forgot the Judge will refuse a defense motion for a directed verdict acquittal because all this makes it impossible for their client to receive a fair trial. Judge Jackson will point out that she issued a gag order which took care of that problem.

A gag-order only serves the witch-hunt. This is a political show-trial, first and foremost. The narrative MUST be controlled at all times.

So… I’m not a lawyer, but I’m curious (a dangerous combination, I’ll admit)

What would happen to a defense attorney who, after dealing with several leaks from the prosecution, would say something like this to the judge.

“Your Honor, the defense is getting tired of having our discovery procedure to be opening the Washington Post or New York Times and reading what the prosecution leaked yesterday. We would like to receive any evidence against my client by more traditional methods, such as discovery. Could you address this deficiency with them, please?”

(Now you can see the main reason *why* I’m not a lawyer. I suspect the answer is: Defense would be beaten with a large Judicial bat)

“…to ensure that the court has the ability to seat a jury that has not been tainted by pretrial publicity.”


That ship has circumnavigated the globe a half dozen times since last year.

‘Not been tainted.’ That’s a good one…

    I heard one of the jurists on Senator Menendez corruption trial asked what a Senator was. You can always find 12 truly ignorant people if you choose – scary thought for the day.

How about a gag order for Mueller? An ignorant question. Leaking testimony from grand jury proceedings is already against the law.

Got Nifong?