Manafort 'faces very real possibility' of life in prison, court order says

Special Counsel Robert Mueller departs Capitol Hill

A federal judge on Tuesday said there was a "very real possibility" that Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, could spend the rest of his life in prison if he is convicted of the charges levied against him, Politico reported.

Late last month, Manafort pleaded not guilty to a separate five-count revised indictment filed by the special counsel team in Washington, D.C., federal court.

The longtime political lobbyist faces an 18-count indictment in Virginia, which was handed up by a federal grand jury as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. He also faces nine charges of bank fraud and bank fraud conspiracy, which each carry a maximum 30 years in prison, for 270 years maximum. Though he is not likely to receive the maximum penalties, at 68, Manafort faces the serious prospect of life in prison, even with a reduced sentence.

The Virginia judge's order Tuesday specified he should not drink excessively or use drugs that aren't prescribed to him, and that he's effectively on a "24-hour-a-day lock-down".

Ellis imposed restrictive bond conditions against Manafort in the new order, concluding the severity of his crimes and his considerable assets incentivize him to flee the country. Manafort will also be on the hook for $10 million if he fails to appear in court. He has been ordered to wear two Global Positioning System monitoring anklets, or bracelets-one from each court house, and is confined to his house, with exceptions of medical emergencies, doctor appointments court dates, meetings with legal representation or religious worship.

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Gates has since pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy against the United States and one count of making false statements to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents.

The judge said he considered Manafort a significant flight risk due to his wealth and the potential consequences of the charges against him.

Manafort is now wearing two Global Positioning System monitors - one from the federal court in Virginia and one from the federal court in DC.

If he changes his plea to guilty to avoid trial, Manafort may have to speak with prosecutors in the Russian Federation probe.

While Gates entered a guilty plea with Mueller last month, Manafort has pleaded not guilty to all charges. "I had hoped and expected my business colleague would have had the strength to continue the battle to prove our innocence".

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