Manafort, Gates plead not guilty; put under house arrest
Paul Manafort and Rick Gates were both ordered to home confinement Monday and ordered to surrender their passports after pleading not guilty to charges stemming from Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Judge Deborah Robinson agreed to Justice Department requests to set bond at $10 million for Manafort and $5 million for Gates. They did not have to put collateral behind that amount, and will not have to pay it unless they violate the court’s directions.
The house arrest request came because the government stressed the “nature of the charges and their seriousness.”
Manafort would be a risk of flight because he faces 151 to 181 months in prison, and alleged fraud in his charges. Gates faces 121 to 151 months in prison. Gates must report to the Eastern District of Virginia court for monitoring Tuesday at noon. Manafort will be monitored by DC officials.
The defendants will have to check in daily with law enforcement by phone and will only be allowed to leave their homes for see their attorneys, appear at court, or for medical and religious necessities.
In two 20-minute appearances before Robinson, Manafort and Gates — in a blue suit sans tie — looked blankly at the judge and lawyers throughout. Manafort wore a blue suit, bright blue tie and a large metal watch. Gates, represented by a public defender, whispered with his lawyer during the proceeding.
They said nothing to the judge other than “I do” and “yes”, when asked if they understood their charges and what’s next for them, and stated their full names.
When the judge asked Manafort lawyer Kevin Downing of his plea, Downing said, “There is no plea. The plea is not guilty.” “To all of the charges?” the judge asked. “To all of the charges,” Downey said.
After about 25 minutes before the judge, the court took a recess and the two men were led out. They returned about half an hour later, and the judge led Manafort and Gates through their terms for bond and what would happen next. That lasted about 20 minutes.
Attorneys appearing for DOJ were Greg Andres and Andrew Weissmann. Andres spoke to the judge and emphasized how difficult it as to determine the assets of both men. Manafort’s net worth was between $20 million and $100 million. Gates’ net worth could be between $2 million and $30 million, the government’s lawyer said.
Mueller was not present, nor did it appear that either defendant’s families were there. The courtroom was at capacity, otherwise, with members of the press and a few regular citizens — including a family with two young boys — filling most seats.
Their next appearance before the court will be Thursday at 2 p.m. US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson will preside and oversee the rest of this case.
Gates’ attorney said Gates will attempt to hire a lawyer by then, and will reimburse the public defender’s office for any costs for the representation Monday.