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Tierney Sneed

Tierney Sneed is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked for U.S. News and World Report. She grew up in Florida and attended Georgetown University.

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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.

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Caitlin MacNeal contributed reporting.

WASHINGTON—The federal judge presiding over Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s case against ex-Trump campaign aide Paul Manafort signaled her reluctance to release Manafort from home confinement without GPS monitoring or a more substantial bond arrangement.

U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson said at a hearing in the D.C. federal courthouse Thursday that she was confused by the court documents filed by Manafort’s attorney earlier that day.

“[The government’s] position is contingent on your position,” Jackson told Manafort attorney Kevin Downing. “Your position has changed two times since you stood up.”

Earlier this week, Mueller’s office filed a memo raising concerns about the potential that Manafort and Rick Gates, his longtime business partner, would be a flight risk. Manafort’s lawyers filed a response that hinted they would like to see him released from home confinement, but Jackson said the request was not made clearly enough for her to consider Thursday.

She asked Downing to file a formal motion Thursday evening, and for the government to file its response Friday for her to review for a hearing she scheduled for Monday morning. In the meantime, Manafort would remain under house arrest.

Jackson suggested, however, that she did not think releasing Manafort from home confinement would be sufficient without GPS monitoring or a bond package beyond the $10 million unsecured appearance bond set earlier this week.

Gates’ newly retained private attorney, Shanlon Wu, had filed a formal motion for his release just before Thursday’s hearing, but Jackson said she had not had time to review it. She did give Gates permission to leave house arrest to attend one of his children’s sporting events this weekend, as long as he gives proper notice to the pretrial services monitoring his home confinement.

Gates and Manafort have been under house arrest since Monday, after turning themselves in for charges made in an indictment filed last week. They face charges of money laundering, tax evasion and failing to disclose lobbying activities for foreign entities. On Monday, the two former Trump aides pleaded not guilty.

At Thursday’s hearing Jackson indicated that she would have little patience for public grandstanding by the attorneys involved in the case.

Attorneys should do their talking in the courtroom and in their pleadings, she said, “and not on the courthouse steps.”

After Manafort and Gates’ initial appearance in front of a magistrate judge Monday, Downing told reporters that Mueller’s case against his client was “ridiculous” and based on “a very novel theory.” Thurday, perhaps due to Jackson’s warning, he left the courthouse without weighing in on the proceedings. Manafort and his attorneys walked through the first floor surrounded by a gaggle of reporters. As he had on his arrival, Manafort again ignored questions and stared straight ahead.

Gates exited the courthouse about ten minutes later. Asked to comment on the hearing, he smiled and declined.

It was also revealed by Greg Andres, the government’s attorney, during Thursay’s hearing that Gates had not turned in all of his passport and travel documents on Monday as originally thought. Wu, Gates’ attorney, clarified that he had a pending passport application and a passport card, and that they would be turning those into the federal government.

At next Monday’s 9:30 a.m. ET hearing the parties will be discussing a trial date, Jackson said, but it appears likely that it will be set for sometime in April.

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Lawyers for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort called him “one of the most recognizable people on the planet” in a court filing Thursday pushing back on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s claims that he is a flight risk.

Manafort, indicted on federal charges of tax evasion, money laundering, and failure to disclose foreign lobbying as part of Mueller’s Russia probe, is scheduled to appear court Thursday afternoon. Among the issues for the judge are the conditions of Manafort’s release from the home confinement he has been in since turning himself in on Monday.

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Among the Russia-linked Facebook and Instagram ads released Wednesday by the lawmakers probing Russia’s 2016 election meddling are a number of ads promoting rallies, marches and other physical events, suggesting that Russia sought to extend its influence beyond the confines of the internet.

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Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee posted Wednesday a selection of the Facebook ads purchased by Russia-linked accounts as the committee’s hearing on how Russia exploited social media during the 2016 election got under way.

The committee Dems posted screenshots of the ads, as well as some of the the meta data associated with the ads, such as the amount of impressions the ads made and to which demographics the ads were targeted. Examples of Russia-purchased ads on Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, were among the ads released.

Some of the ads released Wednesday did not mention presidential candidates by name, but rather weighed in on political issues, be it pushing anti-Muslim or anti-immigrant sentiments, or mimicking the Black Lives Matters or LGBT rights movements.

Other ads explicitly advocated for or against particular candidates. One Instagram ad from an account called “american.veterans” said “Killary Clinton will never understand what it feels like to lose the person you love for the sake of your country,” while others touted Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). There were some anti-Donald Trump ads among the examples released Wednesday, including a Facebook post for a “Trump is NOT my President” event.

 

Additionally, House Intel Committee Dems released a list of Twitter handles associated with Russia-linked accounts.

Representatives from Twitter, Facebook and Google were on Capital Hill to testify on Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election. Before appearing in front of the House Intel committee, the representatives from the social media companies testified in front of a Senate Judiciary subcommittee and in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

 

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To those who were anticipating the indictment against former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort that became public Monday, the unexpected unsealing of a guilty plea from another Trump campaign aide a little more than an hour later was a major shock.

But Special Counsel Robert Mueller wasn’t just giving close observers of the case a bonus surprise on a day being touted on Twitter as #MuellerMonday. Mueller was sending a message — multiple messages in fact — former federal prosecutors tell TPM and the unsealed court filings themselves suggest.

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Before the earthquake of an indictment that became public Monday against ex-Trump aides Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, a quieter battle was going on behind the scenes between them and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office — one that was detailed in another court document that was unsealed Monday.

An unsealed opinion of the chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia sheds light on the move by Mueller to have Manafort’s own attorney answer questions in front of his grand jury. His desire to speak with the lawyer, Melissa Laurenza, was previously reported. However, what was not known publicly until the opinion’s release was how hard Gates and Manafort fought her appearance, what exactly Mueller was seeking from her, and how his team won over the judge overseeing the proceeding.

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Even before Paul Manafort left his home in Alexandria, Virginia, early Monday morning to turn himself in to the FBI, reporters were waiting at the DC federal courthouse where he would appear later in the day.

By 1:30 p.m. ET, when Manafort and his longtime business partner Rick Gates, were schedule for an initial appearance, a queue of reporters lined the entire hallway up to U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson’s courtroom, a short walk from where the grand jury that approved of their indictment has been meeting.

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Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and another former Trump aide, Rick Gates, have been accused of setting up a lobbying scheme on behalf of a pro-Russian Ukrainian leader that concealed the ties the effort had to his political party.

The allegations come in the bombshell federal indictment in Washington, D.C., made public Monday as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. The claims made Monday are not specifically related to the 2016 election; rather, they largely focus on Manafort’s and Gates’ activities before joining the Trump campaign. Among the allegations is that they did not properly disclose the lobbying work under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, a law that is almost never used to bring criminal cases.

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