Paulie Goes to Prison*

Judge Amy Berman Jackson just sent Paul Manafort to jail to await trial because he violated his release conditions.

The judge said sending Manafort to a cell was “an extraordinarily difficult decision,” but added his conduct left her little choice, because he had allegedly contacted witnesses in the case in an effort to get them to lie to investigators.

“This is not middle school. I can’t take away his cell phone,” she said. “If I tell him not to call 56 witnesses, will he call the 57th?” She said she should not have to draft a court order spelling out the entire criminal code for him to avoid violations.

“This hearing is not about politics. It is not about the conduct of the office of special counsel. It is about the defendant’s conduct,” Jackson said. “I’m concerned you seem to treat these proceedings as another marketing exercise.”

I’m interested in where that leaves him (besides, probably, the jail in Alexandria).

Manafort has a bunch of pending motions in EDVA: one challenging Mueller’s authority that Judge TS Ellis should be set to rule on, as well as a bunch trying to suppress evidence and one asking for a hearing on leaks. But things keep getting delayed in EDVA, which is supposed be a rocket docket but isn’t working out that way for Manafort. For both family reasons and because he had to preside over a spy trial, Ellis moved the hearing for the latter issues to June 29 and moved the trial itself (for which Mueller just got 75 sets of subpoenas) to July 24.

In DC, ABJ laid out this schedule back in March (which I’ll return to). Basically, she envisions two rounds of motions leading towards a trial in September.

Meanwhile, earlier this week, Mueller filed this curious motion in EDVA, asking Ellis to impose this discovery order. The problem Mueller’s team is having is that Manafort won’t respond to any of the requests Mueller’s team has made about a discovery order, going back to February and still, as recently as last week. And while they’ve turned over a ton of stuff, they suggest there’s “additional materials to be produced in this case” that they don’t want to turn over until Manafort is obligated by a discovery order.

Prior to the arraignment, on February 27, 2018, the government proposed the attached discovery order to defense counsel. The proposed order tracks the schedule and deadlines in this district’s standard discovery order. As the Court is aware, in addition to a schedule for Rule 16 discovery, the standard discovery order also sets forth deadlines for 404(b), Brady, Giglio, and Jencks material as well as notices for experts, alibis, and stipulations.

The defendant has already received robust discovery in this case and in the parallel District of Columbia prosecution. Indeed, the government has cumulatively made 19 separate productions − each containing a detailed index − in both cases. However, since February 2018 and as recently as last week, the government has been unable to obtain Manafort’s position on the attached proposed discovery order. Accordingly, in order to adequately prepare for trial, reduce discovery litigation, and protect additional materials to be produced in this case, the government respectfully asks this Court to enter the attached proposed discovery order.

Now, most of the obligations in the discovery order are on the prosecution, and given the delay in scheduling they’re not immediately pending in any case. The defense is supposed to tell the government about experts (which might be pertinent in this case since it’s a tax case), but that still wouldn’t be due until mid-July. The most immediate deadline would be if Manafort wanted to offer an alibi, which the standard protection order for EDVA would require by the first week of July; but I can’t imagine any alibi Manafort could offer on the EDVA case.

Now back to the DC case. There’s actually something due there, today (which given past practice will come out late in the day as everyone’s trying to get on with their weekend). Today’s the day the government has to submit their 404(b) notice to Manafort — basically advance warning of any other crimes they want to introduce during trial.

The government’s notice of its intention to introduce evidence under Fed. R. Evid. 404(b) must be filed by June 15, 2018; the opposition will be due on June 29; and the reply will be due on July 9. A hearing on the motion, if necessary, will be held on July 24, 2018 at 9:30 a.m.

Back in January, Mueller had requested delaying this notice until 8 weeks before trial (which would have been early August had ABJ not set the earlier deadline of today). My guess, then, was that they wanted to hold off letting Manafort know about what evidence they had on the case in chief, but that they wanted to introduce at trial.

The government just submitted a request to modify the deadline Judge Amy Berman Jackson set to give Paul Manafort and Rick Gates notice of other crimes or bad acts it will introduce at trial, what is called a Rule 404(b) notice. Currently, they have to provide that notice on April 6, but the judge is now considering a September rather than a May trial date, so prosecutors want to bump the 404 notice back accordingly.

Mueller’s prosecutors don’t want to give Manafort and Gates more than a couple months notice of the other crimes they’re going to unload during the trial. They also note that if they give notice in April, they may have to provide multiple notices as they learn of other bad acts.

Premature disclosure raises issues as well. For example, in declining to require disclosure that is too early, courts have recognized that “the evidence the government wishes to offer may well change as the proof and possible defenses crystallize.”


For similar reasons, early disclosure can result in multiple Rule 404(b) notices and multiply the rulings that a court needs to make, thus undermining the efficient use of judicial and party resources.

The government wants to wait until 8 weeks before the trial before giving notice.

At least two things appear to be going on here. First, Mueller doesn’t want to tip his hand to the many crimes it has found Manafort implicated in. Perhaps, he also wants to avoid making other obvious allegations about Manafort and Gates to preserve their credibility when they flip on the President and his family. But it also seems to suggest Mueller expects he’ll be finding other crimes Manafort and Gates committed for the next 8 months.

This conversation with Matt Tait makes me wonder whether they’re trying to keep 404(b) evidence that they might file in NY State under wraps for now, in case Trump pardons Manafort (as he suggests, Manafort’s remaining money laundering properties involve Trump Organization).

So maybe that’s what Mueller’s trying to get Manafort to agree to. The EDVA standard order he’s trying to get him to use would require 404(b) notice by July 17, but permits the government to request avoiding such pretrial notice.

It is further ORDERED that, no later than seven calendar days before trial, the government shall provide notice to the defendant, in accordance with FED. R. EVID. 404(b), of the general nature of any evidence of other crimes, wrongs, or acts of defendant which it intends to introduce at trial, except that, upon motion of the government and for good cause shown, the court may excuse such pretrial notice.

It’s unclear what is operative in the DC case, but clearly the government can continue to file, as noted in January.

Anyway, that’s all just a guess, and we should see what they file for the 404(b) notice in DC this evening. Meanwhile, Paulie will be making himself comfortable in his new cell.

Update: Here’s the 404(b) motion. Mueller wants to introduce three things:

  • Evidence that one reason that Manafort and others arranged for [Skadden Arps] to be retained for the de minimis sum of approximately $12,000—even though they knew at the time that Law Firm A proposed a budget of at least $4 million—was to avoid certain limitations imposed by Ukrainian public procurement law.
  • Evidence that Manafort was treating a NYC apartment as a business property with the IRS but as a personal dwelling with a lender.
  • Evidence that Manafort structured intra-Cypriot funds to hide income.

The first of those two, of course, involve crimes in NY state.

*Technically, Manafort is being sent to jail, not prison. But that doesn’t alliterate so forgive me the error this once, okay?

52 replies
  1. Rugger9 says:

    Back to the neck-and-neck race between Cohen and Paul Manafort on who flips first.  Only one gets a deal, and given how Kaiser Quisling has treated both of them (here’s a bus….) something else (like Vlad’s henchmen) is keeping them quiet.  It might be a good idea to find out what it is.

  2. Trip says:

    Kinda anticlimactic about Paulie going to the pokey. We Need MORE. Like the IG report on Rudy or something.

    Thanks for going through the deets on filings, @Marcy.

  3. orionATL says:

    well, manafort sure played his line for time but the ofc finally seems to have reeled him in. no doubt he’ll keep struggling but let’s see how he does in the chill locker.

    as for cooperation, it’s only 3 months until a mid-september trial, so i would guess manafort will hang tight.

  4. earlofhuntingdon says:

    A nice timeline of the Manafort-Trump connection, from JustSecurity last October, a relationship that Donald Trump says does not exist.

    Among the highlights.  The two first met in 1988.  Trump was a sometime client of Manafort long before 2016.  In 2006, Manafort bought a condo in Trump Tower for $3.7 million.  Trump hires Manafort on March 28, 2016 (as a volunteer), makes him campaign manager (unpaid) on May 19, 2016, Manafort resigns August 19, 2016.

    According to CNN, conversations between Trump and Manafort reportedly continued long afterwards:

    The conversations between Manafort and Trump continued after the President took office, long after the FBI investigation into Manafort was publicly known, the sources told CNN. They went on until lawyers for the President and Manafort insisted that they stop, according to the sources.

    But the president said today that Manafort was a nobody, a good guy who worked for a bunch of Republican guys long before he worked for Trump, and who was only with Trump for 49 days, or something.  (Even then, Manafort’s executive officer continued to work with Trump through the transition.)

    I think the best advice to Trump is to be afraid, vewwy afwaid.

  5. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Your title improves on my, “Pauly goes to jail,” from Shorter Yevgeny, at 12.06 pm.  Better writing, too.  I’m looking forward to your live streaming of the trial details.

  6. cfost says:

    “Treat these proceedings as another marketing exercise.” Gotta love the judge’s choice of words!

    If nothing else, Manafort’s presence in jail makes any backchannel info sharing more difficult for Trump’s folks.
    Manafort and several others in the Trump camp remind me of that immortal exchange in the movie, “The Firm:”
    Abby McDeere: What are they going to do to you?
    Avery Tolar: Whatever it is, they did it a long time ago.

      • SpaceLifeForm says:

        What? NY is less important than DC? (says Cohen)

        (he lost his bs ploy in CA today trying to gag Avenatti)

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Mickey is no Manafort.  His species is not unique to DC, but it is where they are to be found in abundance.

  7. orionATL says:

    i was bothered by something judge jackson said:

    “i have no appetite for this,” Judge Jackson told Mr. Manafort shortly before he was led out of the courtroom to be transported to jail. “I have struggled with this decision.”

    did she mean an appetite for sending a clean cut, handsome political operator who wears $3000 suits to jail?

    or for actions she was required to take in a case before her with overwhelming political implications? 


    this HTML class. Value is https://www.nytimes. ????

    • orionATL says:

      to put it differently, judge jackson does not appear to be the kind of hanging judge whose decisions would bring shoutouts of approval from president trump.

    • Frank Probst says:

      The context of the quote is obviously important, and we don’t really have it, but I took it to mean that she didn’t want to send a defendant to jail prior to trial based solely on a standard of probable cause.  My understanding is that this means that Manafort STAYS in jail during the sentencing appeals processes if he loses at trial.  So she’s potentially sending him to jail for a large window of time that he could have been living in relative comfort, even it was under house arrest.
      (Never mind that this is what happens to regular people all the time.)

      • orionATL says:

        context is very important. tx for another explanation for judge jackson’s comment.

        the cite comes from a nytimes article which this cite’s software refused to accept (hence the ????’s). nytimes, lefraniere, 6/15/18.

        and yes i was thinking of the poor sob’s of which there are tens of thousands in this avowedly law abiding country who judges send to the local jail for lack of bond money for lack of money to pay a city/county fine. they lose their jobs and apartments with no prospect of a presidential pardon.

    • orionATL says:

      probably the fairest way to consider judge berman’s comment is as a traditional courtesy to a side of the legal contest who has just lost a round. i think wise judges do this. it may be perfunctory, but it serves to mitigate thoughts of bias.

      nonetheless, judge berman’s comment that i cited, in the context of a monstrously imbalanced judicial system that favors the well-placed and the well-to-do over all others, especially those others of us who do not have the money on hand to meet the demands of the judicial system for a lawyer, or for fines or bonds, serves to highlight just how unfair our judicial system is.

      point: public defender systems are routinely underfunded and understaffed. in this situation there is no such thing as a fair trial. as with whistleblowers and economic retaliation against them, financial insufficiency serves to practically negate any claim of fair treatment allowing injustice to procede unimpeded.

      paul manafort, with his presidential connections, is treated with articulated judicial concern that the rest of us are never likely to know.

    • pseudonymous in nc says:

      ABJ’s formal ruling basically says “you fucked up and you and your lawyers are being such dicks that there’s no order I can impose without looking like a chump when you violate it again.” This is, of course, a reminder that white-collar justice for white people looks a lot different from night court in a big city, but I think it’s also a reflection that even the VIP wing of jail-not-bail puts Paulie the Rug in an environment where the whims of the carceral state determine whether he makes it to trial.

  8. gmoke says:

    “Paulie Goes to Prison” sounds like a direct to video Paulie Shore movie from the 1990s.  But then the last couple of years in the USA seems like a direct to video bad movie too.

  9. Peacerme says:

    This is going to sound horrible, but it’s my truth, and I wonder about others. I was raised in a white collar home. My dad ran an optical company where he was part owner. My mother was a doctors daughter. I never heard the good about unions. I never heard gratitude for construction. The attitude was “education, education so you don’t end up like those suckers”!

    Gratefully I married a blue collar guy. I had no idea the amount of education required for him to be an electrician. I had no idea the length of apprenticeship. I had no idea how dangerous the work. No idea how hard they work. I never realized how little corporate American protects these workers. I was dismayed to find out how little their lives mean to the suits at the top.

    I thought my dad was the essence of a hard working man. It shocked me to watch my husband work 6 12 hour days (mandatory over time- yes they can and do) outside in hundred degree heat. Or that he could be working on an icy metal roof with 10 below wind chills for days on end.

    It also had never occurred to me to be grateful for the buildings he helped bring to life. We drive around town, he points out all the buildings he knows intimately. He falls in love with each one. Once when we were newly in love he brought me to work. He let me screw on the electrical covers for the outlets in the huge gym of an elite catholic high school. To this day, I drive past and marvel at the feeling that I helped to build it!

    In the end I saw a whole new reality about my father in his white collar stress of running an optical company. My husband faces life and death daily. He’s uncomfortable much of the time. He works more not less hours than my dad. He aches. He’s truly worn out his joints, not by voluntarily working out in the gym but because he used his body as a tool every day since he was 14. He says he can’t make it to 65.

    It’s clear to me that it’s Power that determines wages. If people truly understood what these guys do for us, what they sacrifice for us, and how important they are to the workings of the world, there would not be controversy about paying them a fair wage. But that story is suppressed and politicized by Power. Not truth.

    • Watson says:

      Our system rewards people as if it’s more dangerous to invest in a coal mine than to work in one.

    • Ed Walker says:

      The common language in economics is: workers are people who only have their labor to sell. What a load of garbage. They have brains, physical and mental skills, bravery, and the crucial skill of teamwork. And then they have their bodies to sell, bodies that gradually deteriorate and fail.

      I worked with small business owners for years, and I know how many of them feel stressed out and exhausted by the demands of that life. Most of them felt a real obligation to their employees, and a real gratitude for their hard work. Economists don’t recognize that either.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Well, it was certainly an interesting counterpoint to Manafort’s $3,000 suits, oiliness, and arrogance ;-)

    • posaune says:

      That’s perfectly ok by me, peacetime!   Esp since a judge sent sent an elitist criminal to the pokey today.  I love your post.  Plus, how many electricians has the trumpeter abused in the course of “doing business.”  thousands, I’ll bet.

  10. Frank Probst says:

    I think that the jail that he goes to is more important than people might currently realize.  If he’s convicted, he’s likely to serve out his sentence in a minimum security prison that’s mostly for white collar criminals, right?  Whereas right now, I presume he’s going to whatever facility people are sent to when they either can’t make bail or aren’t offered bail at all, which probably isn’t nearly as nice.

    • emptywheel says:

      That’s something Stanley Cohen (the lawyer who did time himself) has said repeatedly. Manafort would be better off pleading bc he’ll go to Club Fed than sticking around jail.

      • Frank Probst says:

        Do we (meaning the public) know where he went?  The only reporting I’ve seen is that he probably wasn’t sent to the jail in DC, which is REALLY REALLY awful, as opposed to the other jails that he could have been sent to, which are merely REALLY awful.

        • bmaz says:

          Yes, he is at Northern Neck regional jail in Northern Virginia. Better than DC as you say, but he won’t find it overly comfortable.

          • SpaceLifeForm says:

            And he is considered VIP.

            Hope that means he gets to use phone a lot.

            Securus provides phone service.

            • bmaz says:

              Heh, “VIP” doesn’t mean much, just that he is segregated and protected better than in general population. It is basically jingo for isolated.

          • posaune says:

            There’s a really wicked speed trap right near there (Essex County) and the fines are huge.

  11. Frank Probst says:


    I know I’ve asked this before, but “bail is revoked” means that he (or more accurately, his wife and his lawyers)  gets to keep his $10 million, right?

  12. Palli says:

    OT (but really can anything be off topic in the trump years) Would someone comment on the Flores ruling (Flores Settlement & Family Separation at the Border) from TX Immigration Rights Advocate Holly Cooper @abogadatejana
    From Prerna P. Lai a TX tax & immigration attorney: “Nothing in U.S. immigration law or the Flores agreement requires the U.S. government to detain asylum seekers, separate parents from their children, or criminalize asylum seekers.” @prernaplal

  13. Rusharuse says:

    FLIP COMING. No stylist, no tanning facility, no masseuse, how long can he endure? Might as well just waterboard the guy!

      • Rusharuse says:

        Aha, the third man (I hear a zither playing). Above all else I need the full story on Broidy’s baby. Thx for the reminder.

        PS. do you think he ever sold tickets to ride the lolita express?

  14. SirLurksAlot says:

    i gots this feelin that Mueller gonna be like:

    • greengiant says:

      The only cell phones in the joint are those that are smuggled in. Gotta protect the prison call vendor monopoly. But yes they use to jam G4 and G3 and make you use G2? And you could tell by how fast your phone battery died just sitting idle when the stingray was on.

  15. Avattoir says:

    “Paulie Goes to Prison” is a sentence.

    (Also, IMO that sentence is significant even with the asterisk, despite the absence of a period {a condition which eventually could emerge as important}, the styling of each of two words to start with a capitalized letter, and that the POTUS got all this, in tweetness, fairly wrong.)

  16. Tracy Corral says:

    I, too am bothered by ABJ’s comment about how hard it was to send Paulie to jail @orionATL. I immediately thought if Manafort were a person of color, she would not have made the comment

  17. Charles says:

    Northern Neck Regional Jail looks like a country club facility. This is not going to pressure Paul Manafort.


    Speaking of NY state charges, I have been wondering why the NY AG hasn’t made a referral to the state tax collection authority in the Trump charity case. If he broke federal tax law, he also broke state law. Yet she filed a civil lawsuit and made referrals to two federal entities whose activities Trump can influence–or pardon himself out of.


    Until state charges appear, I can understand why these guys feel some degree of security.

    Although, as one MSNBC commentator noted, the fact that Manafort was trying to witness tamper makes it seem as if he’s not entirely certain of a pardon.

    • Avattoir says:

      Your point no state charges ‘so far’ got me thinking, too. But I’ve have a fair number of what I think could be related experiences, among which this one seems to me to fairly represent the

      Abe – not his name – was an outside professional services consultant to entrepreneur Link – not his either. Link started a new venture in a business that’s budget heavy up front in equipment inventory, and thereafter necessitates hiring or training workers with or to  within a certain level of technical skills (tho a lot more variable / flex when it comes to controlling venture costs when business is down).

      Fortunately (seemingly) for Link, business boomed immediately, which he attributed to his deliberate program of aggressively low-balling the established competition on pricing: he’d set a target for year 1 at, say, o.1% of total industry wide national revenues, yet seemed to be pulling in 300 times that. And to cut costs against the skinnier margin, Link offered stock to the venture’s outside consultants, in lieu of raises or even in some instances cash, while securing against speculation by requiring they all allow their names to be listed as corporate officers (just for a few quarters. I know it looks bad, but this happens a lot.).

      Problem is Link hadn’t been in the biz long enough to sense what really had to be going on in a biz vulnerable to the point of fragility to government incentives, including deductions, and as well to global consumption patterns only the really big global players could foresee because to some extent they made them. Turns out, his venture’s early apparent success in large part reflected that many of its competitors HAD see writings on the wall and had JUST left the field. Out of industry ignorance, Link made a massively improvident financial commitment to keep his venture’s workers on, in an industry that historically at least had shown little venture-workforce loyalty. Then, almost at the outset of the commitment period, when the venture was at its most vulnerable, even the unwashed newspaper reading public could see that the whole industry had almost overnight shunk to a fraction.

      Then came the second wave, the undertow Link also didn’t have industry experience to foresee: most remaining customers foresaw the chance to avoid paying all outside consultant costs for this service, as it was suddenly so much cheaper to exploit the market glut in equipment inventory resulting from the industry having shrunk itself, and so set up in-house capabilities. Long story short, Link’s venture went under, bigly.

      In the lawsuits that followed, one particularly venal Wall Street institutional player picked up on the presence of the independent professional service consultants on the venture’s books so widened the net by suing them all personally and professionally.

      And it was in the context of interrogatories and pretrial discovery of one of them that the illegal arrangement came to light, eventually leading to big state licensing problems and even FRAUD charges against those professionals who’d agreed to it (as well as  little rainbow in the end: big retainer agreements for some of the nice friendly good honest salty hard working folk who do the lawyering in this berg).

      IOW a legal proceeding can start out in a direction, but in its course can branch out in other directions, and even emerge as the most beautiful butterfly of an organized fraud charge.


    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Given that a pardon would have to issue from a famously inconsistent, self-harming, ignorant, promise-flouting president, Manafort would be wise not to rely on receiving a pardon or even a commutation of his sentence.

      It’s not just what might Manafort do that would piss off the Don and lead him to renege on a pardon promise.  It’s what he might do that would piss of Putin, which would piss off the Don times two.  He would be smart to do for himself what he can to protect himself.

    • prostratedragon says:

      Regarding NYS criminal, as opposed to civil charges, David Cay Johnston offers <a href=””><an explanation</a>:


      Under New York state law, the attorney general lacks fundamental legal authority to bring criminal cases. Indictments can be sought only after another state agency makes a referral to the state attorney general. The state charities bureau could make such referrals, but because it is under the attorney general no indictments could be brought.



      The knot can be cut:


      There is one person who can persuade Underwood to indict Trump, his three oldest children and others: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. He could direct the state’s Department of Taxation and Finance to refer the matter as a tax crimes offense. Underwood could then seek indictments.


  18. it tolls for you says:

    Thank you Marcy (and commenters) for the analysis on these matters that I only half-understand .


    I wonder,


    Is Mueller trying to bait Trump into pardoning Manafort? Is Manafort worth more to Mueller pardoned than unpardoned?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Manafort is worth more to Mueller pardoned.  He would escape the necessary and logical consequences of his actions, which would encourage him and others to commit more crimes.  But he would be free from legal liability for talking about his crimes, which would probably implicate many others in them.

      Manafort could be compelled to cooperate.  If he refused, he could be found in contempt and jailed until he chose to cooperate.  All of which would keep Manafort and what he might know on the front page during this election cycle and much of the rest.  None of that promotes the interests of Trump or the GOP.

    • emptywheel says:

      I do half wonder whether he is. If Trump pardons Paulie, it will 1) concern a few Republicans 2) may impact elections 3) allow Mueller to hand off Paulie charges to 2 different states 4) give Mueller leverage over Paulie that Trump can’t touch.

      But to the extent that’s correct, I view it only as a chess move that advances the game without dictating any path to victory.

      • Trip says:

        If he pardons Paulie before going to trial, then I think, NYS can charge him and try him on crimes there. If he waits until after a conviction, then the law as it stands now (NYS) would not permit a trial on the same crimes. But at that point evidence would be out in the wild, including that which implicates Trump. But he’s so goddam shameless ( he says he is above the law), his base wouldn’t care because they are catatonic slaves of cult brainwashing, and the GOP doesn’t give a shit about anything but staying in power. So who knows what would happen? We keep hearing that if he breaks ‘such-and-such’ threshold, that it will be political suicide. And yet, no matter what awful next-step barrier he has broken, the GOP still supports him, or plays dumb about what he is doing. So all bets are off on the future if the GOP doesn’t lose a serious amount of seats.

  19. Frank Probst says:

    RE: Northern Neck Regional Jail
    Just FYI, and this is hair-splitting, but I don’t think most people from Northern Virginia (I grew up there.) would consider this place to be part of NoVA. It’s almost a 2 hour drive to Alexandria, and more than 2 hours to DC. It’s far closer to Richmond, and it’s about the same driving time to Norfolk that it is to DC. This doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things, obviously, but Manafort’s friends, family, and legal team are all probably looking at about 4 hours of driving round-trip if they want to go out and see him, and he’s looking at 4 hours of driving for each court appearance.

  20. bmaz says:

    Technically in the Eastern District of VA I guess. Guess I was probably wrong to describe it as in Northern VA. By my understanding, about 90-95 miles from DC.

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