Reporter's Notebook

Here’s How Manafort’s Bail Hearing Might Go

on May 23, 2018 in Washington, DC.
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 23: Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort leaves the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse after a hearing on May23, 2018 in Washington, DC. Manafort was indicted last year by a federal gra... WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 23: Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort leaves the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse after a hearing on May23, 2018 in Washington, DC. Manafort was indicted last year by a federal grand jury and has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him including, conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, and being an unregistered agent of a foreign principal. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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June 7, 2018 1:31 pm

On Thursday, I wrote about what comes next for Paul Manafort, now that special counsel Robert Mueller has alleged he engaged in witness tampering. It seems possible — and maybe likely — that the U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson will order that he be placed in detention after holding a hearing next Friday.

While reporting this piece, I spoke to a number of white collar-defense attorneys and former prosecutor-types. One, Harry Sandick — a defense attorney and former Assistant U.S. Attorney in Manhattan — laid out how these hearings usually go.

“Many bail hearings have a back-and-forth quality, almost like a tennis match,” he explained. “Each lawyer argues and responds, and counter-responds, back and forth and back and forth, until the judge says ‘I’ve heard enough.'”

Manafort may learn his fate pretty quickly, Sandick said. “Sometimes a judge proceeds immediately to a decision. Given that this is a high-profile case, it seems possible that she would take a brief adjournment, and then come back on the bench to issue an opinion.

“There is some possibility that she won’t do anything on Friday, and she’ll keep it open until after the weekend, but most bail decisions come pretty quickly after argument, in part because if someone should be in pretrial detention, that should start immediately.”

Whatever happens, I’ll be at the courthouse next Friday to report on it.

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