Manafort asks U.S. court for release to attend New York funeral

FILE PHOTO: Paul Manafort, former campaign chairman for U.S. President Donald Trump, departs after a bond hearing as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing Russia investigation, at U.S. District Court in Washington, U.S., December 11, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo

By Nathan Layne and Karen Freifeld

(Reuters) - Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's indicted former campaign chairman, asked for court permission on Saturday for release from home confinement to attend the funeral of his father-in-law.

In a filing in federal court in Washington, Manafort said his father-in-law died on Saturday and that he would like to travel from his Virginia home to Long Island, New York, to attend the wake, funeral and burial services.

Manafort has been charged with conspiring to launder money, lying on his tax returns and failing to register as a foreign agent for lobbying work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine, among other charges.

His request comes one day after Rick Gates, Manafort's longtime business partner, pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States and lying to investigators. Gates is now cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his probe of Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.

Legal experts said the move by Gates would likely add to pressure on Manafort to strike his own plea deal with Mueller, although Manafort maintains his innocence and is preparing to go to trial.

Saturday's court filing said that Manafort had notified the special counsel's office of his request to leave his home to attend the services on Monday and Tuesday, but had not received a response.

A spokesman for Mueller declined to comment.

Kevin Downing, a lawyer who represents Manafort, did not immediately respond to a call for comment.

Manafort is married to Kathleen Manafort, whose father is Joseph Bond. Bond was 89 years old, according to public records.

Mueller has accused Manafort of working with Gates to launder more than $30 million, duping banks into lending money, and using funds from secret offshore accounts to enjoy a life of luxury without paying taxes on that income in the United States.

(Reporting by Nathan Layne and Karen Freifeld; editing by G Crosse)