Manafort pleads not guilty; trial due Sept.

Pauline Gross
March 2, 2018

Manafort pleaded not guilty Wednesday morning to the charges, which included money laundering, conspiracy against the USA, bank fraud, and false statements.

The former Trump campaign manager appeared in a DC courtroom on Wednesday morning and will be in a Virginia courtroom on Wednesday afternoon, where he is facing a different indictment. Manafort's trial date is now set for September 17.

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort pleads not guilty to new charges brought against him in the Russian Federation probe. Scheduled to be arraigned in Alexandria, Va., on Friday, Manafort has not yet offered a plea in that case and no trial date has been set.

Last week, Mueller filed new charges against Manafort and aide Rick Gates as part of his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 USA presidential election following reports that the former campaign chair allegedly bartered a position within the White House for three home loans worth $16 million.

The former Trump campaign chairman said he will continue to "maintain my innocence" after the Gates guilty plea.

Manafort attorney Kevin Downing told the court he planned to file a motion opposing the court's interpretation of a Supreme Court case referenced in her order restricting public statements in the case.

The charges relate to his work for a former Ukrainian politician years before becoming involved with the 2016 Trump campaign. Charges were brought against them in October.

Charlie Gile reported from Washington, and Tracy Connor from NY.

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Manafort previously pleaded not guilty in the case, but the latest indictment, which mirrored the charges filed against him last October, required him to formally enter a second plea.

Gates and Manafort are accused of preparing false tax returns, Bank fraud, conspiracy to commit Bank fraud, money laundering, disclosure of income from foreign sources, the conspiracy against the interests of the USA and the misrepresentation of the American authorities.

"For reasons yet to surface he chose to do otherwise", Manafort said.

Mueller, for his part, moved Tuesday to dismiss a slew of charges against Gates in the wake of his earlier guilty plea.

Normally such charges would be consolidated in one court, but Manafort has refused to allow this, which might be a legal tactic meant to make Mueller's case more hard. "I understand the impulse", Jackson said.

Prosecutor Greg Andres acknowledged the overlap in the two indictments but said any request to combine the case would be Manafort's to make.

Manafort has filed a separate civil lawsuit that asserts that the special counsel has overstepped his legal writ by pursuing lobbying, bank fraud and other crimes not related to Russia's efforts to steer the election to Trump.

Other reports by GizPress

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