Trump blasts 'very unfair' sentence for Manafort

President TrumpDonald TrumpTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Schumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe MORE on Friday tweeted that his former campaign manager Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortDOJ investigating one-time Trump campaign adviser over alleged ties to Qatar: report Foreign lobbyists donated over M during 2020 election: report Former Mueller prosecutor representing Donoghue in congressional probes: report MORE had received a "very unfair" sentence, even though no formal conviction was handed down.


"What a tough sentence for Paul Manafort, who has represented Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other top political people and campaigns," Trump tweeted. "Didn’t know Manafort was the head of the Mob. What about Comey and Crooked Hillary and all of the others? Very unfair!"

Trump's comments came shortly after Manafort was sent to jail following Judge Amy Berman Jackson's decision to revoke his house arrest.

Trump and his associates had made efforts to distance themselves from Manafort over the past year, with the president insisting on Friday that he had only worked on the campaign “for a very short period of time.” Manafort served as Trump's campaign manager for 144 days, The Washington Post reported.

Manafort's appearance in court Friday came after special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE's investigative team argued that he had sought to tamper with witnesses.

The judge said she could not come up with a release order that would prevent Manafort from seeking to further influence the testimonies of other witnesses.

It is unclear where Manafort will be held or when he will be taken to jail.

Manafort's arraignment Friday morning came after Mueller's team hit him with a superseding indictment late last week, accusing him of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Prosecutors had asked the district judge to narrow restrictions on Manafort or send him to jail following allegations that he attempted to sway two potential witnesses to lie to investigators about lobbying work for former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

The witnesses, revealed in a court filing to be Alan Friedman and Eckart Sager, told Mueller of Manafort's attempts to influence them, The New York Times reported. The two men had worked for Hapsburg group — a group, Mueller described, that was made up of former senior European politicians who Manafort allegedly paid to lobby on behalf of Ukraine.

A court filing this week revealed two memos containing evidence that proved Manafort worked to lobby U.S. lawmakers on Yanukovych's behalf. 

The ex-campaign manager previously faced a raft of charges including tax evasion, bank fraud, money laundering and failing to register as a foreign agent with the Justice Department for his work on behalf of Yanukovych and the Ukrainian government.

Prosecutors sought to send Manafort to jail, citing concerns that he could continue engaging in alleged criminal activity if he were to remain on house arrest.

Manafort has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

--Updated at 2:15 p.m.