TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -US President Donald Trump’s former election campaign manager Paul Manafort has been summoned to appear in court following a third federal indictment against him on witness tampering charges stemming from the probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.
US federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson set Manafort’s arraignment on Friday at the US District Court in Washington, DC.
The court will hear arguments about the witness tampering charges brought against Manafort last week by the US Justice Department’s Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
The judge also will hear arguments about whether Manafort's $10 million bail should be revoked or revised as Mueller had requested last week.
If his bail is revoked, Manafort could be sent to jail while awaiting his upcoming trials. Manafort is currently under house arrest and required to wear GPS monitoring devices.
The additional charges could increase pressure on Manafort to cut a deal and cooperate with Mueller’s probe, legal experts said.
The indictment last week included new counts against Manafort and Manafort aide Konstantin Kilimnika, a political operative with alleged ties to Russian intelligence, for allegedly tampering with witnesses regarding their lobbying on behalf of political parties in Ukraine.
Mueller has said Kilimnik has links to Russian spy agencies, which Kilimnik has denied.
Manafort already faces five felony charges, which include, conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign principal, making false and misleading Foreign Agents Registration Act statements, and false statements.
Meanwhile, Renato Marriotti, a former federal prosecutor, described the new indictment as politically significant because it is the first one where a Russian and an American have been indicted together, the strongest evidence yet for potential cooperation between the two parties.
Mueller’s investigation seeks to find out whether the Russian government coordinated with Trump’s aides after the intelligence community’s conclusion that Moscow helped with the New York billionaire’s campaign effort ahead of winning the White House, an allegation dismissed both by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Trump.