Mueller team, Manafort lawyers tussle over bail

Mueller team, Manafort lawyers tussle over bail
Posted at 6:26 AM, Nov 06, 2017

Federal prosecutors from special counsel Robert Mueller's office and Paul Manafort's lawyers tangled throughout the weekend over the former Trump campaign chairman's bail as he awaits a trial on white-collar criminal charges.

In a filing Sunday night, Mueller's lawyers outlined a proposal to allow Manafort to put up $10 million in assets for his bail and travel only in Virginia, New York and Florida. He would not be able to apply for a new passport (his three passports have been confiscated).

The government lawyers also contested whether Manafort's properties are worth what he says they are.



On Saturday, Manafort's lawyers proposed that he be allowed to travel in those three states and Washington, D.C., and pledged as collateral his properties at Trump Tower and on Baxter Street in New York City and in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and $4.5 million in life insurance policies.

In the court filing, Manafort's lawyers estimated that real estate to be worth $8 million, meaning he would be on the hook for $12.5 million in assets if he violated his bail.

The federal prosecutors, however, said they can't tell the properties' actual values, and his Palm Beach Gardens home could be worth a quarter-million dollars less than Manafort claims.

The value of the Trump Tower condo on Fifth Avenue in New York is also a question mark, the federal authorities said. Manafort's lawyers say it's worth $6 million, and he has a $3 million mortgage on it. But the government lawyers say they haven't seen a real estimate of the property's value and believe it may be worth only $2.5 million or $2.7 million.

They still contend he's a flight risk, and say his total net worth — which Manafort claims is $28 million — is unclear until he gives them more details.

Manafort and his co-defendant in the case, former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates, are both currently under house arrest and wearing GPS monitoring devices. The two surrendered October 30 to Justice Department authorities following a 12-count indictment that includes charges of conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money and unregistered agent of a foreign principal. The charges precede their involvement with Trump's campaign. The two have pleaded not guilty.

Both Manafort and Gates will be in court Monday at 9:30 a.m. The judge for their case, federal District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, said they may discuss Manafort's bail terms and a schedule for the trial at Monday's hearing. She has proposed their trial start May 7, 2018.