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Donald Trump's ex-campaign chief pleads not guilty to bank fraud

Donald Trump's ex-campaign chief pleads not guilty to bank fraud

President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman will face trial in Virginia before he faces trial in the District of Columbia.

Manafort's longtime business partner, Rick Gates, is among three former Trump aides who have pleaded guilty to assortment of charges and have agreed to cooperate with Mueller's team of prosecutors.

Manafort, who was caught up in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation, was arraigned in Virginia, where he was indicted on bank fraud and other charges in February - four months after he was indicted in Washington on conspiracy and money-laundering charges.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis scheduled the trial to begin on July 10.

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.

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If Manafort were to choose to avoid a trial and change his plea to guilty, he could be forced to share details he knows about Trump campaign officials' contact with Russians and other foreign nationals. Mueller filed the charges as part of his investigation into presumed Russian interference in the 2016 elections, potential obstruction of justice and Manafort's alleged financial crimes, Efe reported. Last week, he denied wrongdoing in a related case in Washington accusing him of money laundering.

Lewandowski helped Trump win the Republican presidential nomination, running his campaign for around 18 months.

Manafort then ran the campaign for several months.

Ellis, who has been on the bench for 31 years, alternately cracked jokes and pressed lawyers for Manafort's and Mueller's office on their legal positions. 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.

Lawyers told the judge details of a $10 million bail package was still being finalised, which ultimately could lead to easing of restrictions on Manafort's movements.


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