Manafort 'faces very real possibility' of life in prison, court order says

Rick Gates departs Federal District Court Wednesday Feb. 14 2018 in Washington. Paul Manafort the former campaign chairman for President Donald Trump and his business associate Rick Gates were in federal court on Wednesday for a routine status confe

Rick Gates departs Federal District Court Wednesday Feb. 14 2018 in Washington. Paul Manafort the former campaign chairman for President Donald Trump and his business associate Rick Gates were in federal court on Wednesday for a routine status confe

Paul Manafort could face the rest of his life - and nearly 300 years or more - in prison, a federal judge said Tuesday.

Manafort has been charged with dozens of crimes by special counsel Robert Mueller in the ongoing investigation into Russian election interference.

"Specifically given the nature of the charges against the defendant and the apparent weight of the evidence against him, defendant faces the very real possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison", Ellis wrote.

He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

"These conditions are necessary because the defendant is a person of great wealth who has the financial means and global connections to flee and remain at large, as well as every incentive to do so", the order reads.

The district judge assigned to Paul Manafort's case said the gravity and number of charges against President Donald Trump's former campaign manager means he could possibly spent the rest of his life behind bars, according to Politico.

The court order released Tuesday details Manafort's conditions of release.

Manafort's ex-associate Rick Gates, who also worked for the Trump campaign, pleaded guilty last month to his October indictment, after initially pleading not guilty, which included conspiracy against the USA, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) statements, false statements and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign banks and financial accounts. He's allowed to leave for emergencies, court appearances and meetings with his attorneys.

He is subject to house incarceration and a $10 million bond, per the order.

Manafort, the well-known political operative with a long history of work in Republican circles, is also facing charges at U.S. District Court in Washington. Following Gates's flip, Mueller dismissed 20 charges against him, indicating that he may have given Mueller something of high value in his investigation into Russian election interference and Trump's alleged ties to the country.

Manafort maintains his innocence despite his former close aide Rick Gates accepting a plea deal from prosecutors.

Manafort is under federal prosecution in two jurisdictions.

Politico first reported on the new filing, dated Friday.

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