Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, could face life in prison if he is convicted of the charges against him, according to a federal judge.
“Given the nature of the charges against the defendant and the apparent weight of the evidence against him, defendant faces the very real possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison,” District Judge, T.S. Ellis III wrote in an order made public on Tuesday.
Manafort currently faces an 18-count indictment in Virginia, which was issued by a federal grand jury as part of special counsel Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Ellis, who is presiding over a new indictment filed against the longtime politician that accuses him of bank fraud and tax evasion, has set strict terms for Manafort’s home confinement.
The new terms include a “24-hour-a-day lockdown” home incarceration with location monitoring in Manafort’s Alexandria condo. This requirement will exclude medical necessities, meeting with attorneys, and court appearances.
According to Ellis, Manafort is a “person of great wealth” that has the financial capabilities and international connections to flee the country and evade the law, claiming that the former Trump campaign chairman would have “every incentive to do so”.
Due to Manafort’s list of unlawful activities, he poses a “substantial risk of flight”. Ellis did not specify if Manafort will be required to forfeit any assets. However, the judge did order that the defendant agrees to and sign a pledge to pay a $10 million unsecured bond if he misses a court appearance.
Ellis reportedly told Manafort that he would be willing to loosen his confinement restrictions if he agreed to appear in court by promising to provide enough assets as collateral.
Last month, Paul Manafort pleaded not guilty to a separate five-count renewed indictment filed by Mueller’s team in Washington D.C., federal court. This separate trial is expected to begin on Sept. 17.
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