Manafort Pleads Not Guilty to Tax and Fraud Charges in Virginia Court


The federal judge in Virginia set July 10 as the start of Manafort's trial.

His 18 criminal charges in Virginia federal court - which total more than the five he faces in Washington and carry a much heavier potential prison sentence - accuse him of bank fraud and lying on income tax returns and regarding his foreign bank accounts.

Ellis also imposed stricter conditions of home confinement then those ordered by U.S. District Judge Amy Jackson in Washington. That trial begins in September.

In that case, United States special counsel Robert Mueller brought charges as part of a wide-ranging investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, possible obstruction of justice, and alleged financial crimes by Manafort and others. For legal reasons, he has two cases in two courts. Prosecutors say Manafort conspired to launder millions of dollars he earned from his lobbying work, failed to register in the a lobbyist, and didn't pay taxes on overseas income.

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It also came after Martin Schulz was forced to hand over the reins as chief of the Social Democrat Party. Angela Merkel, also referred to as "Muttie" (mother) Merkel is still a popular choice in her country.

Prosecutor Andrew Weissmann from Mueller's office said he expected a Manafort trial on the Virginia charges would last eight to ten days and would involve the calling of 20-25 prosecution witnesses. When Kevin Downing, the lead lawyer for Manafort, said that in a ideal world "with rosy glasses on", the Virginia trial would start in November, the judge retorted: "You need to go back to the optometrist - that isn't going to happen".

Downing had argued for more time to prepare for trial in the case, at one point quipping that his "rosy glasses" preferred a date in November.

Citing Manafort's significant wealth, Ellis said the former campaign chairman "manifestly" represented a flight risk in part because of "the substantial period of incarceration" he faced if convicted. He already has filed a civil suit in the District, making the same argument. His lawyer officially entered a not guilty plea on Manafort's behalf. Because the federal courthouses in Alexandria and Washington have different electronic-monitoring systems, he has to wear two bracelets.