Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his longtime associate Rick Gates got permission from a judge on Tuesday to temporarily leave house arrest later this week to celebrate Thanksgiving.
The order from US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson came with a few conditions: Manafort and Gates will remain under GPS monitoring, must report exactly where they're going and when, and they won't be allowed to drink alcohol. The government had said it wouldn't oppose the leave request subject to those restrictions, according to court filings, but didn't offer any explanation for the no-drinking rule.
Manafort and Gates' lawyer declined to comment after the hearing. The judge has restricted all of the lawyers in the case from speaking to reporters.
The two men have been under home confinement since their first public court appearance on Oct. 30, when they each pleaded not guilty to a 12-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury. The charges include money laundering, conspiracy, failing to register as an agent for a foreign entity, making false statements, and failing to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.
The home confinement was supposed to be a temporary measure while Mueller's team and lawyer for Manafort and Gates worked out a bond package to present to the judge. Although the special counsel prosecutors have argued that Manafort and Gates pose serious flight risks, they've also indicated that they would agree to let them go free pending trial if significant financial commitments were made to make sure they came back to court. Manafort's lawyers have disputed that he'd try to flee.
The lawyers haven't presented a proposed bond package to the judge yet. In the meantime, Manafort and Gates have only been allowed to leave their homes to go to court, meet with their lawyers, attend religious services, or get emergency medical attention. Manafort and Gates are subject to $10 million and $5 million unsecured bonds, respectively, which means they'd have to pay that if they failed to come to court, but those are different from bonds that are secured based on a commitment of particular assets.
Gates has made several requests to the judge for permission to go out to attend his children's sporting events and to take them to and from school, to vote, to work, and to attend family gatherings for the holidays. Jackson agreed to a few limited outings, but denied his request for ongoing exceptions that would let him leave home on a regular basis.
On Monday, Manafort and Gates asked the judge for permission to leave home for Thanksgiving festivities. Gates asked to travel to events in Virginia. Manafort's travel would be "local," per his filing, and his lawyers wrote that Mueller's team was okay with him leaving home as long as he continued to wear his GPS device, told the pretrial services agency where he was going, and didn't drink. Manafort agreed to those conditions.
Zoe Tillman is a legal reporter with BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.
Contact Zoe Tillman at email@example.com.
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