Special Counsel Robert Mueller finally has sent someone to jail. Paul Manafort.

For nothing having to do with Russia or the Trump campaign.

For alleged witness tampering in a criminal case based on Manafort’s long ago dealings unrelated to Trump or the campaign.

NBC News reports:

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s office convinced a federal judge on Friday to revoke the bail of President Donald Trump’s former campaign chief after he was accused of witness tampering.

“I cannot turn a blind eye to this,” Judge Amy Berman Jackson said in a Washington courtroom, explaining that she could not just release Manafort with more restrictions.

“This isn’t middle school, I can’t take your phone,” Jackson said.

Manafort, 69, did not appear to react to the ruling beyond a nod to his attorney. He was immediately taken into custody and walked into a hallway behind the courtroom. He gave a quick wave to his wife as he disappeared from sight.

He will remain in pretrial detention until a trial in September on charges that include conspiracy and money laundering; he also faces a separate trial in Virginia.

The details of the alleged witness tampering were set forth Mueller’s motion to revoke Manafort’s release pending trial (pdf.)(full embed at bottom of post).

Manafort denied the witness tampering in an opposition to the motion (pdf.)(full embed at bottom of post):

The Special Counsel creates an argument based on the thinnest of evidence; to wit, Mr. Manafort violated the Release Order’s standard admonition that a defendant not commit an offense while on release by allegedly attempting to tamper with trial witnesses. However, the scant proof of this claim is an 84-second telephone call and a few text messages between Mr. Manafort (or an associate referred to as “Person A”) and two former business associates(Doc. 315-2, Ex. N). These brief text messages followed the filing of the Superseding Indictment on February 23, which was the first time the Special Counsel raised any allegations about the mission and work of the Hapsburg Group. (Doc. 202, ¶¶30, 31.) Closer scrutiny of this “evidence” reveals that the Special Counsel’s allegations are without merit because Mr. Manafort’s limited communications cannot be fairly read, either factually or legally, to reflect an intent to corruptly influence a trial witness.

The witness tampering was included in a Superseding Indictment filed on June 8, 2018 (pdf.)(full embed at bottom of post).

COUNT SIX
(Obstruction Of Justice)

48. Paragraphs 1 through 36 are incorporated here.
49. From in or about and between February 23, 2018, and April 2018, both dates being
approximate and inclusive, within the District of Columbia and elsewhere, the defendants PAUL
J. MANAFORT, JR., and KONSTANTIN KILIMNIK knowingly and intentionally attempted to
corruptly persuade another person, to wit: Persons D1 and D2, with intent to influence, delay, and
prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding.

(18 U.S.C. §§ 2, 1512(b)(1), and 3551 et seq.)

COUNT SEVEN
(Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice)

50. Paragraphs 1 through 36 are incorporated here.
51. From in or about and between February 23, 2018, and April 2018, both dates being
approximate and inclusive, within the District of Columbia and elsewhere, the defendants PAUL
J. MANAFORT, JR., and KONSTANTIN KILIMNIK knowingly and intentionally conspired to
corruptly persuade another person, to wit: Persons D1 and D2, with intent to influence, delay, and prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
1512(b)(1).

(18 U.S.C. §§ 2, 1512(b)(1), and 3551 et seq.)

Manafort’s conduct in contacting potential witnesses was incredibly stupid, particularly for someone on bail and who has the full weight of the Special Counsel team focused on putting him in jail.

All of this is taking place because Manafort made the life-error of associating with the Trump campaign at a time when the FBI and DOJ, aided by opposition research paid for by Hillary and the DNC, was seeking to portray Trump as colluding with the Russians.

Mueller has yet to put anyone in jail, or even charge anyone, for alleged campaign collusion. So Paul Manafort, Mike Flynn and a handful of others will face the choice of capitulating and taking a plea, or suffering a complete financial collapse of their lives and those of their families due to the cost of litigating against a Special Counsel team that has all the time and money in the world.

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USA v. Manafort – Motion to Revoke Bail June 4, 2018 by Legal Insurrection on Scribd

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USA v. Manafort – Opposition to Motion to Revoke Bail June 8, 2018 by Legal Insurrection on Scribd

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USA v. Manafort – Superseding Indictment (DC) June 8, 2018 by Legal Insurrection on Scribd