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Trump Ex-Aide Manafort Pleads Not Guilty Again, Faces July Trial

10 March 2018, 01:09 | Marta Robbins

Manafort pleads not guilty again

Manafort trial set to begin July 10

Manafort for decades had conducted business built upon his relationships with Russian-sympathetic Ukrainians and other powerful European former politicians, and had been in contact with them while leading the Trump campaign. However, legal adviser Rick Gates, a former Trump campaign adviser and friend of Managort, in February pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States and giving false testimony to federal authorities.

Manafort's plea of not guilty to the 18-count indictment is a part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election and whether Trump's campaign colluded with Moscow.

Manafort and Gates worked for Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Russian former Ukrainian president who was attempting to burnish his image in the US and Europe.

That trial is scheduled to begin September 17.

Last month, 13 Russians were charged in a sweeping indictment alleging they waged a propaganda campaign to help Trump get elected. Last week, he denied wrongdoing in a related case in Washington accusing him of money laundering. Manafort, who stands accused of a myriad of charges related to income from his lobbying work in Ukraine, has requested a jury trial.

Korea's Kim during Pyongyang trip
The visit comes in the wake of the thaw brought about by North Korea's attendance at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics last month. South Korea says it has agreed with North Korea to hold summit talks between the two countries' presidents in late April.

After the hearing, committee members said Lewandowski had refused to answer many of their questions. Gates, who also served on Trump's campaign, is expected to provide information about crimes he said he and Manafort committed as business partners.

However, the judge agreed that Manafort should still be subject to the less-rigorous home confinement but that he must now wear two wrist bracelets, enabling probation officials based in both Washington and Virginia to monitor his movements.

At Thursday's hearing, Manafort and his lawyers indicated that he fully intends to contest the charges.

On Thursday, Andrew Weissmann, Mueller's deputy, told the judge that prosecutors preferred to move forward on the Virginia case first, estimating that it would take between eight to 10 days to complete, and require up to 25 government witnesses.



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