Manafort pleads not guilty at arraignment in Russian Federation probe

Manafort pleads not guilty at arraignment in Russian Federation probe

Manafort pleaded not guilty to charges including tax evasion and bank fraud that stem from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the USA elections.

In Virginia, Manafort is accused of filing false tax returns, failing to report money in overseas accounts, and misleading banks on paperwork for millions in real-estate loans.

"You need to go back to the optometrist", the judge replied, and ordered the Virginia trial to begin July 10.

The mysterious protester held up a sign that read "Blood money" as Rick Gates, a former top adviser to President Donald Trump's, entered federal court, where he pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy and false statements charges. The charges against Manafort don't relate to the election, although some of the alleged crimes occurred while he ran Trump's campaign.

The new indictment says Manafort and Gates passed the money they received from Ukraine through foreign bank accounts to hide it from the Internal Revenue Service.

In a related case, Manafort last week pleaded not guilty and is set for a September 17 trial.

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

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The charges are not directly related to election interference but revolve around Manafort and Gates's lucrative lobbying on behalf of pro-Russian political figures in the Ukraine.

Prosecutors had offered to combine the indictments in the District, but Manafort refused to do so. Those funds were used to live a "lavish" lifestyle in the US, prosecutors said.

Gates who was a Trump campaign aide, pleaded guilty on February 23 for lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and for conspiracy to defraud the U.S.

The 32-count indictment issued by the Alexandria grand jury accuses Manafort of laundering $30 million through offshore accounts, to disguise income he earned from his work in Ukraine and shield it from federal taxes. A judge placed him on house arrest after he pleaded not guilty to those charges.

Manafort filed the complaint on January 3 alleging Mueller's Russian Federation probe is overly broad.

Manafort argued Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was guilty of overreach when he allowed Mueller to expand the probe beyond possible meddling in the 2016 election.

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