Manafort Pleads Not Guilty In Second Round Of Mueller Charges

Manafort Pleads Not Guilty In Second Round Of Mueller Charges

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort pleaded not guilty Thursday to tax and fraud charges in federal court in Virginia.

All charges, which Manafort has denied in both courts, were levied during the ongoing Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential elections and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

Former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort pleaded not guilty to a new indictment on Thursday and will have to wear a second ankle-monitoring bracelet until his trial, which could begin as early as July.

Manafort's former business partner, Rick Gates, has pleaded guilty in the District to conspiracy and lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The charges in both cases relate to Manafort laundering some $75 million in relation to his work for Russia-backed former Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovych between about 2006 and 2014.

The charges - 18 counts in total - stem from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's alleged interference in the 2017 presidential election.

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He already pleaded not guilty to another set of charges in Washington, D.C., that are set to go to trial in September.

Attorney Andrew Weissman, representing Special Counsel Robert Mueller, told the judge he expects the government will bring forward 20 to 25 witnesses.

So far, more than 100 charges have been filed against a 19 people and three companies.

Prosecutors had offered to combine the indictments in the District, but Manafort refused to do so.

According to the superseding indictment filed by Mueller on February 22, from 2006 through the present, Manafort served as a representative for the Ukrainian government, specifically, Ukraine's President Viktor Yankukovych.

Among those indicted are 13 Russians accused of engaging in a multiyear effort to tilt the election in Trump's favor using social media platforms, secret operatives and political rallies in the U.S. In court papers, prosecutors said they asked Manafort if he'd be willing to waive venue and have the case consolidated in the District, but he refused. He requested the Justice Department rescind Mueller's appointment.

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