Paul Manafort was indicted on a Monday for 12 counts ranging from money laundering to making false statements and now, in a new 17-page filing released Tuesday, the FBI says he is a flight risk. Manafort, who recently came under the public spotlight after a special investigation headed by former FBI director Robert Mueller, has submitted no less than 10 passport applications in the past decade and keeps at least three passports at his disposal.
Mueller was tasked with heading a special investigation to seek out possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russian influence on US political affairs. Manafort and his former business partner got the honor of being the first criminal indictments that sprang from that investigation and now the FBI says they are concerned that his history shows he is a flight risk. Manafort certainly has the assets and ability to disappear from the country and that is just what the FBI is afraid of.
In the new filing Tuesday, prosecutors argued that Manafort and his former associate Rick Gates "pose a risk of flight" based on a "history of deceptive and misleading conduct." The prosecution cited the pair's vast wealth and foreign connections as all the more reason to jail the two until their trial. The filing also said they fear Manafort's risk is even higher saying "for a defendant such as Manafort, who is in his late 60s," suggesting they have nothing to lose by running away since they are facing 12 to 15 years at least in prison if convicted.
The filing made a point of explaining that even the government doesn't know how much money he has, "Manafort's financial holdings are substantial, if difficult to quantify precisely because of his varying representations… The full extent of [his assets] is unclear." For example, Manafort reported $42 million in assets in March 2016, $136 million that May, and $28 million and $63 million that August, hell not even Manafort can get his story straight when it comes to his wealth.
Manafort's attorney Kevin Downing told the court the reason for his client's fluctuating wealth was that different countries evaluate assets at varying values. He added, "There is no evidence that Mr. Manafort and the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government."
The courts ordered portions of the case be unsealed on Tuesday which included the 17-page filing highlighting the pairs flight risk.
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