Manafort pleads not guilty at arraignment in Russian Federation probe

Manafort pleads not guilty at arraignment in Russian Federation probe

During the hearing in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Judge T.S. Ellis III put Paul Manafort on home confinement, requiring him to wear a Global Positioning System monitoring device, and set a trial for July 10. It is expected to last eight to 10 days. That trial begins in September. He was indicted in Virginia, where he lives, the week prior.

The trial is one of two on Manafort's schedule in 2018. Downing said the charges against Manafort go beyond the authority of Mueller's mandate, and advised the judge he will move to dismiss the case on those grounds.

He appeared in the federal court in Washington on February 28 to plead not guilty to 17 grand jury charges of conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, lying to federal agents and failing to register as a foreign agent.

If convicted of bank fraud in Virginia, Manafort faces up to 270 years in prison, but prosecutors say federal sentencing guidelines call for much less time: four to five years.

In Washington D.C., Manafort is charged with making false statements about his foreign lobbying work for pro-Russia Ukrainian politicians, and engaging in a money laundering conspiracy.

Deripaska, who Manafort offered to give private updates on the Trump campaign's status when he was its helm, went on to charge people suspicious of the Trump campaign's connections to Russian Federation with making it up as a means to boost the military. After his business there dried up, according to prosecutors, Manafort fraudulently secured over $20 million in loans in part by using his real estate as collateral. The split in venues, prosecutors explained, is because the alleged crimes also occurred in the Eastern District.

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As he left court, a protester threw a Russian flag at him and shouted: "Traitor!"

Manafort is innocent of the Virginia charges, his spokesman Jason Maloni said after the indictment was announced. "Mr. Manafort is confident that he will be acquitted and violations of his constitutional rights will be remedied".

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 USA presidential elections and possible collusion with the Trump campaign. He faces up to 15 years on the charges of filing false tax returns and up to 20 years on the charges of failing to report foreign bank accounts. Guidelines call for about eight to 10 years, though.

Jackson referenced a statement issued on behalf of Manafort on the day that his former business associate and co-defendant Rick Gates pleaded guilty in his own case.

The judge imposed similar bail conditions on Manafort to those already in place in the District, including home confinement.

U.S. Senior Judge T.S. Ellis III picked the July date, though he did not foreclose the possibility of granting an extension to the defense if warranted.

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