Judge in Manafort, Gates case issues gag order
© Greg Nash

A judge presiding over the federal case against President Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and Manafort's associate, Richard Gates, on Wednesday issued a gag order, restricting public comments from attorneys and witnesses.

U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered legal counsel and potential witnesses to avoid public statements or comments to the media that could pose "material prejudice" in the high-profile case.

Jackson wrote that the court must be able to impanel a jury that "has not been tainted to pretrial publicity" to ensure that Manafort and Gates receive a fair trial. 

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The gag order comes after the judge met with prosecutors from special counsel Robert Mueller's team on Monday to discuss negotiations on a bail package for Manafort and Gates. They have both pleaded not guilty to charges in an indictment that stemmed from the special counsel's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow. 

Jackson pushed for the two to be put on GPS monitoring if they are freed from house arrest pending their trial.

A date for the trial has not yet been set, but representatives of both parties are set to discuss the schedule in court on Dec. 11.