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Judge issues final warning to Paul Manafort, Rick Gates in conspiracy, money laundering case

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 11: Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort leaves the Prettyman Federal Courthouse after a hearing December 11, 2017 in Washington, DC. 

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Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his former business associate Rick Gates appeared before a U.S. District judge on Monday for a status hearing following their indictment in the special counsel's ongoing investigation, where the two were warned about speaking to the press yet again as the case moves forward. 

Judge Amy Jackson presided over Monday's hearing, where she addressed concerns about an op-ed Manafort helped draft last month to defend his reputation in Ukraine, specifically as it related to her gag order against the parties not to speak to the press during the trial. 

Judge Jackson said the gag order "applies to you and not just your lawyer." She also discussed how even though the op-ed was published in a Ukrainian paper "the power of retweeting" would've brought it to America.

The "jury pool is in the District of Columbia, not Eastern Europe," Jackson admonished.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team said that Manafort and a Russian colleague who is "assessed to have ties to a Russian intelligence service," worked together on an English-language op-ed about Manafort's work for Ukraine, according to documents filed by the special counsel.

The government said in a brief that the ghost-written draft op-ed would constitute a violation of the court's order banning statements to the press. Judge Jackson has already reprimanded Manafort's attorney, Kevin Downing, for talking to the media after Manafort appeared in court for his indictment.  "This is a criminal trial, not a public relations campaign," she said in November.

CBS News' Paula Reid reports that the judge took Monday's hearing as an opportunity to remind all the parties that this "case will be debated in court, not the press." 

Manafort's attorney argued that his client should be able to defend his reputation while it is being battered in the press. Downing argued that Manafort was trying to defend his reputation due to "a torrent of negative press" against his client. He also complained that the media in the U.S. is getting inside information from "somewhere," insinuating that the special counsel's office is leaking.

The judge noted the special counsel is also getting bad press and they also are not allowed to make public statements. Instead of taking action against Manafort over this violation, the judge used it as a final warning to all parties in the case not to talk to the press. Jackson said she wants this trial to be "scrupulously fair."

House arrest for Manafort, Gates

Reid reports that in order to relax the conditions of his house arrest, Manafort needs to post sufficient assets that represent a certain percentage of his net worth.  But his finances are so murky they still cannot seem to agree on a bail package.

The judge suggested that Manafort may have to live in just one of three main residences until this can be settled. He chose Florida as his home of choice, rather than the homes he has in the Hamptons or Alexandria, Virginia.

Meanwhile, the judge admonished Gates for signing up to be a soccer coach even though he is on house arrest and can only leave his house for special events.

Both men now remain on house arrest with GPS monitoring until a new arrangement can be agreed upon. The next hearing for both Manafort and Gates is on January 16th.

CBS News' Clare Hymes contributed to this report.