Manafort Asks Court To Give Him More Time To Put Together A Bail Package

Matt Rourke/AP

After blowing a deadline to file a motion asking for Paul Manafort to be released from home confinement, the former Trump campaign chairman’s lawyers on Friday asked federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson for more time so they could put together a bail package that would secure his release from house arrest.

The filing comes in the case Special Counsel Robert Mueller brought against Manafort as part of its larger probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Manafort is charged with tax evasion, money laundering and failing to disclose foreign lobbying. According to Manafort’s attorneys, they have been in “continuing” discussions with the government to come up with a bail agreement that can also pass muster with the judge, who strongly suggested in open court Thursday that she would require a secured bond.

“More particularly, taking into account the points raised by the Court at yesterday’s conference, counsel for Mr. Manafort have been actively attempting to identify assets that can be pledged as part of a bail package that the Government and Mr. Manafort can agree upon and submit for the Court’s consideration,” Manafort attorney Kevin Downing said in the filing. “This has been occurring since the status conference yesterday, through last evening, and continuing throughout today. The discussions are progressing, but additional time is necessary to finalize the particulars of a jointly agreed-upon bail recommendation. ”

The judge had asked Manafort’s attorneys to file a motion by midnight Thursday outlining the conditions of release he would be seeking. Manafort has been under home arrest after turning himself into the FBI on Monday.

Friday’s filing says in at footnote that Downing initially thought that he would be able to meet Thursday night deadline by just reformatting a court document he had previously filed seeking Manafort’s release in a more formal manner. But after “carefully considering the Court’s comments” at Thursday’s hearing — during which Jackson signaled she would be reluctant to release Manafort without GPS monitoring or a more significant bond package — he “abandoned” that plan.

“Counsel was not in a position last evening to make certain representations contained in this Motion, which required additional discussions with the Office of Special Counsel,” the footnote said.

Manafort’s attorneys went on to suggest that they may be able to keep to the current plan of having a hearing Monday morning to discuss releasing Manafort, but in the scenario that they and the government can’t come to a deal, or if the court doesn’t feel it has enough time to review the deal, that hearing might also need to be pushed back.

It’s been reported that the legal costs stemming from Mueller’s investigation have been a financial burden on Manafort. He parted ways with the initial law firm he hired for the investigation, the prominent but costly firm WilmerHale, in August. Downing left the firm he had worked for, Miller & Chevalier, two weeks after taking on Manafort as a client.

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