Judge orders Manafort lawyer to stop making sidewalk speeches

Judge in Manafort trial threatens to impose a gag order after Manafort's attorney gives a sidewalk speech to the press.
By Delila James | Nov 07, 2017
United States District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson rebuked Paul Manafort's lawyer for discussing the tax and money-laundering case against President Trump's former campaign chairman on the sidewalk instead of in the courtroom.

"This is a criminal trial and not a public relations campaign," said the judge at a hearing on Thursday, as reported by Bloomberg.

The judge threatened to impose a gag order and instructed the attorneys to submit any objections by Nov. 7.

Manafort and his partner Rick Gates were indicted last week on various charges, including money laundering, failing to disclose foreign activities to the U.S. government, and conspiracy against the United States. Both entered not guilty pleas.

In a sidewalk speech to the press after the arraignments of Gates and Manafort on Oct. 30, Keven Downing, Manafort's lawyer, denounced the charges against his client as "ridiculous."

Both Manafort and Gates have been placed under house arrest with electronic monitoring to ensure they do not leave their homes except to attend court proceedings, meet with their attorneys, keep doctor's appointments, and attend religious services.

Prosecutors argue that the two men are serious flight risks, given their vast financial resources, ties to foreign countries, and the stiff sentences they face if convicted.

Gates' attorney filed a petition Thursday asking that the terms of his release be eased, citing his limited assets and describing himself as a devoted family man. But, according to prosecutors, Gates claimed to be worth $30 million when he tried to get a line of credit last year.

The case is U.S. v. Manafort, 17-cr-201, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia.


Have something to say? Let us know in the comments section or send an email to the author. You can share ideas for stories by contacting us here.

Comments should take into account that readers may hold different opinions. With that in mind, please make sure comments are respectful, insightful, and remain focused on the article topic.