The charges against Manafort and Gates came Monday as a result of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 USA presidential election as well as any potential ties between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.
Attorneys for Paul Manafort defended him in a court filing Thursday as a "successful, worldwide political consultant" who, by nature of his work on behalf of foreign political parties, was necessarily involved in global financial transactions.
Manafort and his longtime business associate Rick Gates were expected to appear in federal court for a hearing to go over details of their confinement. The charges were the first announced by Mueller, the former FBI director appointed as special counsel in May to run the Justice Department's investigation into potential coordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign. Both had initially been released on multimillion-dollar unsecured bonds, meaning they would only have to pay up if they skip out.
Neither Manafort nor Gates has a criminal history, the court filing notes, and their bails are set and $10 million and $5 million, respectively, subject to their house arrest and electronic monitoring.
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson also sharply warned lawyers for the duo not to speak about their case outside of court.
Kevin Downing, Manafort's lawyer, did not respond to a request for comment ahead of the hearing.More news: Page: I Was On Papadopoulos Email About Linking Russia Up With Campaign
Downing said earlier this week that there was no evidence the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government.
Former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, George Papadopoulos, pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his contacts with Russians.
Prosecutors disclosed additional details about the wealth and worldwide connections of Manafort and Gates in a court filing earlier this week that sought to keep them confined to their houses. Prosecutors insisted in court that any bail package be secured by assets. In 2016 alone, he provided six different figures, ranging from $25 million to $136 million. Prosecutors also cited Manafort's worldwide travels, saying he has three current passports with different numbers. It also states that he registered a phone and an email account under an alias, then traveled overseas with that phone. He then used that phone to travel to China, Mexico and Ecuador, according to the filings, which do not say what alias he used. Manafort holds three US passports and frequently travels overseas.
Manafort's lawyers argue that even though he knew he'd be charged back in August, he still traveled and consistently returned to the United States. In the past year, Manafort also went to Dubai, Cancun, Panama City, Havana, Shanghai, Madrid, Tokyo and Grand Cayman Island, the USA said. "It goes without saying that in an global scheme to hide assets, individuals generally move them offshore, not to the United States".
Downing said that although Manafort is accused under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of operating as an unregistered agent, the Justice Department has used that statute only rarely to prosecute people.
Richard Gates leaves the Prettyman Federal Courthouse following a hearing November 2, 2017, in Washington, DC.