Judge not ready to remove ex-Trump aides from house arrest


A federal judge is set to hear arguments on whether President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman can be removed from home confinement as the criminal case against him moves forward.

The government has not yet filed a response to Manafort's proposed conditions for expanded release, and the judge is expected to consider Manafort's request at a hearing Monday. At least until his next status conference, scheduled for the morning of December 11, Manafort "remains in the High Intensity Supervision Program", according to the ruling.

They were released into home confinement with Global Positioning System monitoring on $10 million and $5 million unsecured bail bonds last week and are now petitioning the court for more flexible conditions.

Manafort and Gates were among the first people charged by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who's investigating Russian influence on the 2016 presidential election.

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In a filing this weekend, Mueller's lawyers outlined a proposal to allow Manafort to put up $10 million in assets for his bail and travel only in Virginia, New York and Florida. He promised to limit his travel to Washington, D.C., Florida, New York and Virginia and to not apply for any travel documents. He also offered to pledge his $3 million apartment in Trump Tower in NY; a $3.5 million apartment in lower Manhattan; a $1.5 million home in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida; and life insurance policies worth $4.5 million.

In the court filing, Manafort's lawyers estimated that real estate to be worth $8 million, meaning he would be on the hook for $12.5 million in assets if he violated his bail. But the government lawyers say they haven't seen a real estimate of the property's value and believe it may be worth only $2.5 million or $2.7 million. They said the $18 million in assets that prosecutors seek to seize if he's convicted "would wipe out a substantial portion of Mr. Manafort's wealth accumulated over a lifetime of work".

The judge asked why prosecutors appeared willing to "forgo" Global Positioning System monitoring for Manafort and Gates, who Mueller's office have argued should be considered flight risks.

However, the charges are not directly tied to the campaign itself. The two have pleaded not guilty.