Ex-Trump official pleads not guilty to charges
President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman will face trial in Virginia before he faces trial in the District of Columbia.
A federal judge in Alexandria on Thursday set a July 10 trial date for Paul Manafort. A grand jury there indicted Manafort on charges that he hid from the Internal Revenue Service tens of millions of dollars he earned advising pro-Russia politicians in Ukraine.
Manafort’s lawyer, Kevin Downing, had asked for a trial date in November, citing the complexity of the case. Prosecutors said they were ready to start the trial in May.
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.
Most of the charges against Manafort have been filed in the District of Columbia, where Manafort is scheduled for trial in September. But prosecutors say they were required to bring the tax and bank fraud charges in Virginia because they lacked venue in the nation’s capital. In court papers, prosecutors said they asked Manafort if he’d be willing to waive the venue and have the case consolidated in D.C., but he refused.
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.