Sun, 23 Sep 2018

Manafort pleads not guilty to fraud, tax returns charges

By Sheetal Sukhija, Maryland State News
09 Mar 2018, 10:51 GMT+10

VIRGINIA, U.S. - U.S. President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort on Thursday, pleaded not guilty to additional criminal charges levelled against him by the Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

As part of his wide-ranging probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, possible obstruction of justice, and alleged financial crimes by Manafort and others, Mueller brought the 32-count indictment against Manafort.

On Thursday, Manafort pleaded not guilty to the charges ranging from bank fraud to filing false tax returns and his trial in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia is set to begin on July 10.

Longtime Judge T.S. Ellis III will oversee the case.

Separately, Manafort has also pleaded not guilty to separate charges including conspiracy to launder money and conspiracy against the U.S. 

His trial on those charges will begin on September 17.

Manafort, who was Trump’s campaign manager for five months in 2016, was originally indicted last year along with his longtime business associate, Rick Gates, who was also Trump’s former deputy campaign manager.

However, Gates has agreed to cooperate with Mueller as part of a plea deal to charges that he lied to investigators and conspired against the U.S.

The move by Gates was seen as adding pressure on Manafort to plead guilty.

However, after Gates’ plea deal, Manafort said in a statement that he maintains his innocence.

Manafort is currently facing 18 counts, including charges of filing false income tax returns, failing to report foreign financial accounts, and bank fraud after Mueller dropped 16 other charges against Gates as part of a plea deal.

Thursday marked Manafort’s first appearance in the Virginia federal court.

Sign up for Maryland State News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!