WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman is appealing a judge’s decision to jail him while he awaits trial on several felony charges.
Attorneys for Paul Manafort filed court papers Monday saying they want a federal appeals court to review the order by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson. Separately, they also are appealing Jackson’s order dismissing a civil suit Manafort brought earlier this year challenging special counsel Robert Mueller’s authority to prosecute him.
Jackson revoked Manafort’s house arrest earlier this month citing a newly unsealed indictment accusing him and a longtime associate of tampering with witnesses in the case. The 19-page ruling sent Manafort, 69, to a Virginia jail while he faces two trials over the next few months on charges including tax evasion, bank fraud and acting as an unregistered foreign agent.
The latest indictment added charges of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice stemming from the contacts with two witnesses. Prosecutors say Manafort and his associate, Konstantin Kilimnik, attempted to persuade the two witnesses to lie about the nature of political consulting and lobbying work they carried out for Ukrainian interests. Manafort has pleaded not guilty to the charges. Kilimnik, who prosecutors says lives in Russia, has not appeared in a U.S. court to face the charges.
In addition to fighting his jailing, Manafort is also resurrecting a civil case he brought earlier this year that Jackson threw out.
Manafort initially brought the case seeking to have Jackson dismiss all charges against him, arguing that Mueller had exceeded his authority by bringing criminal charges unrelated to Russian election interference.
Manafort’s attorneys later dropped the bulk of their challenge. Instead, they asked Jackson to nullify a paragraph in Mueller’s appointment order and issue an order protecting Manafort from future prosecutions by Mueller.
In a 24-page order, Jackson dismissed the lawsuit, saying “a civil case is not the appropriate vehicle for taking issue with what a prosecutor has done in the past or where he might be headed in the future.”
Manafort filed a similar motion in both his criminal cases.
Jackson dismissed one of them earlier this year, ruling that Mueller was within his authority to bring the case. A federal judge in Virginia has yet to rule on Manafort’s motion in the other case.
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