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US judge denies Manafort’s request to modify his bail terms

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The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson means Manafort will be forced for now to remain under house arrest unless he is able to offer alternatives that are acceptable to the court.

A spokesman for Manafort declined to comment.

Manafort and Trump’s former deputy campaign manager, Rick Gates, were indicted in October as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia in Moscow’s alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

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They face charges including conspiracy to launder money, conspiracy to defraud the United States and failure to register as foreign agents for political work they did representing a pro-Russia Ukrainian party.

Manafort and Gates have pleaded not guilty.

Manafort has remained under house arrest due to a dispute over a bail package the judge approved in December.

In a court filing unsealed recently, his lawyer said Manafort’s family “simply could not meet” financial terms of that bail package, which would have allowed his home confinement to be lifted.

Manafort’s attorney has since proposed a new package, in which collateral posted would be two properties in New York and two in Virginia that he claims are worth more than $10 million.

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The special counsel’s office took issue with that plan in a filing unsealed on Friday. It said it had uncovered “additional criminal conduct” by Manafort in connection with a series of “bank frauds and bank fraud conspiracies” related to a mortgage on his property in Alexandria, Virginia.

The special counsel’s office said his proposal to post his Alexandria home to secure his bond was also flawed, because that home and another in Bridgehampton New York are both securing a $9 million loan and could be confiscated in the event of a foreclosure.

The judge’s order on Thursday did not mention the fraud allegations, but she agreed Manafort would need to post additional security because the Alexandria home “has already been pledged in its entirety as collateral” for the mortgage.

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Her order gives him another chance to come back with a fresh bail proposal, and permits him to include as collateral a condominium he owns in Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York City, if he shows proof his mortgage payments are current.

Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Frances Kerry and David Gregorio

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https://twitter.com/samstein/status/1197200696044654593

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