US President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort sent to jail

US President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort sent to jail

"Wow, what a tough sentence for Paul Manafort, who has represented Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other top political people and campaigns", Trump tweeted Friday afternoon, just before turning his attention to former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey and Hillary Clinton.

The 69-year-old Paul Manafort was reportedly engaging in attempted witness tampering while under house arrest awaiting his trial.

Prosecutors had previously complained to the judge about Manafort's behavior as he awaits trial.

The judge made the decision on Friday after special counsel Robert Mueller, who's leading the investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 USA presidential election, alleged that Manafort and one of his associates had tried to tamper with witnesses in the case, Xinhua reported.

In a court filing, prosecutors working for special counsel Robert Mueller wrote that Manafort and one of his associates "repeatedly" contacted two witnesses in an effort to influence their testimony.

USA TODAY is providing live coverage outside the federal courthouse where Manafort is testifying beginning at 10:00 am ET in the player above.

In issuing her ruling, Jackson said she had "struggled" with the decision but she couldn't "turn a blind eye" to his conduct.

"This isn't middle school, I can't take your phone", Jackson said.

Manafort was arraigned Friday on the obstruction counts and is set for trial in Washington in September over the allegations of secret lobbying.

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"You have abused the trust placed in you six months ago", she said.

Kilimnik, whom Mueller´s office says has ties to Russian intelligence, could not be reached for comment.

Defence attorneys said Manafort didn't know who the government witnesses are.

Andres replied that "it's inconceivable that [Manafort] doesn't know that they're potential witnesses".

While most of the charges against Manafort predate his work for Trump, some relate to activities that took place into 2017, including alleged bank fraud and money laundering, according to prosecutors.

Legal experts say Mueller wants to keep applying pressure on Manafort to plead guilty and assist prosecutors as Gates did and is cooperating with the probe after cutting a plea deal.

Mueller insists Manafort's case falls within his jurisdiction because of his connection with both the Trump campaign and to officials in Russian Federation and Ukraine.

She revoked Mr Manafort's bail, saying she had no choice but to lock him up because she couldn't stop him from having contact with people.

The investigation against Manafort is part of the investigation about the so-called Russian intervention in elections in the United States. They suggested the solution would be for prosecutors to identify their witnesses and then the judge can tell Manafort whom he cannot contact.

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