Home / National News / Manafort informed of coming indictment in August, new court filings show


(WASHINGTON) — A new court filing by Paul Manafort’s attorney in the federal case against him shows he has known since August that he would be indicted.

In a memorandum on Manafort’s conditions for release, his attorney Kevin Downey writes, “Mr. Manafort has been aware of the Office of Special Investigation for many months.”

“FBI agents executed a “no-knock” search warrant at his Virginia residence in the predawn hours in July of this year. Just so there was no misunderstanding, his former counsel was told by the Government prosecutors in August that they were going to indict him.”

President Donald Trump’s campaign manager along with his long-time business partner Rick Gates were indicted by the special counsel Monday and charged on 12 counts including conspiracy, money laundering and working as unregistered foreign agents.

Manafort and Gates are expected back in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. Thursday for a “status hearing,” which will focus on the conditions of their release and each of their bonds.

Documents filed Wednesday in the case against Manafort and Gates state that both are men of substantial wealth with considerable foreign contacts. They are facing 188 and 151 months in prison respectively, according the federal sentencing guidelines described by prosecutors.

“The possibility of prison sentences in these ranges alone establishes a risk of flight as to both defendants,” the Special Counsel’s Office argued.

According to the documents released Tuesday, Manafort had three different U.S. passports at the time of his arrest. In March, Manafort registered a new cell phone and an email account using an alias. Two months later, he traveled with the phone to China and Ecuador, and a month after that he traveled with it to Mexico.

In arguing that Manafort does not pose a serious flight risk, Downey writes in the court filing Thursday that during this period investigation Manafort traveled overseas and, “to no one’s surprise, he returned to the United States.”

Downey also explained Manafort’s possession of three passports, writing, “As a U.S. citizen, Mr. Manafort only has U.S. passports in his name. Although it might be surprising to some, it is perfectly permissible to have more than one U.S. passport, as individuals who travel abroad extensively no doubt know. Mr. Manafort has strong family and community ties and does not pose a serious risk of flight.”

Downey adds that the government, “seeks to persuade this Court that Mr. Manafort is a serious risk to simply up and leave his wife of almost 40 years, his two daughters, and his grandchildren, so that he can live the rest of his life on the lam. This is an imagined risk; it is not real.”

In a footnote, Downey invokes Manafort’s high profile, writing, “Given the substantial media coverage surrounding Mr. Manafort and this investigation, it is fair to say that he is one of the most recognizable people on the planet today. Query where such an individual could even hide?”

The filing does not mention electronic monitoring, that was requested by the government, but concludes in stating, “The continuation of the $10 million unsecured appearance bond, subject to the condition that he not commit a federal, State, or local crime during the period of release, will more than suffice to assure his appearance as required.”

The government has a new filing, too, requesting a restraining order to essentially freeze assets held by Manafort which could be subject to forfeiture. Those assets include a life insurance policy in the name of Paul and Kathleen Manafort.

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