"All interested participants in the matter, including the parties, any potential witnesses, and counsel for the parties and witnesses, are hereby ordered to refrain from making statements to the media or in public settings that pose a substantial likelihood of material prejudice to this case," US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said in the order referring to the parties involved in the criminal cases against President Donald Trump's former campaign advisers Paul Manafort and Richard Gates.
According to Jackson, the order intends to safeguard the defendants' rights to a fair trial and to ensure that the jury's opinions are not influenced by pretrial publicity about the case.
Charges Against Manafort and Gates
Manafort and his former business associate Gates have pleaded not guilty after being charged by the FBI on 12 counts, including "conspiracy against the US," as well as tax evasion, money laundering and failure to register under FARA over a multi-billion lobbying campaign on behalf of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who was ousted during violent Maidan protests resulting in a coup in February 2014.
According to President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly called the probes into the alleged "collusion" with Russia a "witch hunt," his former campaign manager was accused of deadlings he had made years prior to his campaign.
Manafort and Gates have been placed on house arrest, with the former Trump campaign manager proposing a $12.5 million bail package also pledging to limit his travel to Washington, DC, Florida, New York, and Virginia.