- The Washington Times - Friday, December 15, 2017

A federal judge has agreed to release Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort from house arrest once he meets a series of conditions that would hold his family liable to forfeit $10 million in assets if he fails to appear in court.

Under the new conditions, Mr. Manafort would reside at his home in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and have to comply with a nightly curfew. He would also remain under GPS monitoring. Mr. Manafort would be allowed to travel to D.C. for court appearance but would have to obtain prior approval for any other domestic travel, according to the order issued Friday by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson.

The order follows a prolonged fight between Mr. Manafort and special counsel Robert Mueller’s team over his bail package. Since Mr. Manafort’s Oct. 30 indictment on charges including conspiracy to commit money laundering and failure to file proper financial disclosures, he has been held on house arrest in Virginia and subject to GPS monitoring.

Under Judge Jackson’s order, Mr. Manafort will be required to execute documents agreeing to forfeit four properties if he fails to appear in court — his Alexandria, Virginia home, a residence in Bridgehampton, New York, a home in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and a Manhattan condo. If the properties had to be forfeited and their value did not add up to $10 million, Mr. Manafort’s wife and daughter are required to deposit a combined total of $7 million in a bank account that cannot be touched unless authorized by a court order.

Earlier this week, Judge Jackson admonished Mr. Manafort for his role in crafting an editorial that ran recently in a Ukrainian newspaper, warning him that she would not tolerate attempts to influence the public perception of the case through the media.

She didn’t punish Mr. Manafort for the publication, but noted that the point of her prior ruling barring involved parties from making public statements about the case was to ensure that the case was “debated by the parties in the courtroom and not in the press.”

Prosecutors from Mr. Mueller’s team flagged the op-ed as a concern last week while negotiating a bail package for Mr. Manafort, arguing that his “ghostwriting” of the document constitutes a violation of the court-imposed gag order and raises doubts about whether he will adhere to the bail conditions.

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