Manafort tries to pen op-ed with Russian colleague, gets bail deal sunk

ANI | Updated: Dec 05, 2017 14:21 IST

London [United Kingdom], Dec 05 (ANI): United States President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was ghostwriting with a Russian colleague to pen an opinion piece about his political work for Ukraine, reported The Guardian, citing the court documents.

The special counsel Robert Mueller's team investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election alleged Manafort of working on the piece as recently as last week.

Manafort had been working on the English-language editorial with a longtime colleague "who is currently based in Russia and assessed to have ties to a Russian intelligence service", The Guardian quoted the court documents.

Had it been published, prosecutors say, it would have violated a November 8 court order of not to discuss the case publicly.

Mueller's team characterised the op-ed as an attempt by Manafort to sway public opinion around his case.

The development sunk a deal Manafort had struck to be released from house arrest, to which he has been confined for five weeks.

Manafort has proposed an $11.65 million bail package in exchange for lifting him from house arrest and electronic monitoring.

He was placed under detention with electronic surveillance in October, after he was indicted on 12 charges in October that mostly focused on alleged money laundering, failure to disclose financial assets, and false statements regarding work for the government of Ukraine and a Ukrainian political party.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

If the US district court for the District of Columbia sides with the government, Manafort could remain under house arrest until his trial sometime next year.(ANI)