Speed Reads

The Manafort Indictment

Mueller's team was concerned Manafort would flee the country, ruin evidence

Court documents unsealed on Tuesday reveal that Paul Manafort, President Trump's former campaign chairman, registered a phone and email address earlier this year under a false name, went abroad with that phone, and had three United States passports with different numbers.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team believed Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, were flight risks and likely to destroy evidence once they found out criminal charges had been filed, and on Oct. 27, prosecutors requested that the indictment against them be sealed until at least one was in custody. The pair, who surrendered on Monday, have been indicted on 12 counts, including charges of money laundering and making false statements to the Justice Department.

Both have strong ties to Ukrainian and Russian oligarchs, and in new court papers filed Tuesday, Mueller's office argued that Manafort and Gates "pose a risk of flight based on the serious nature of the charges, their history of deceptive and misleading conduct, the potentially significant sentences the defendants face, the strong evidence of guilt, their significant financial resources, and their foreign connections." Manafort and Gates are under house arrest until their next court date, set for Nov. 2.