Judge refuses to dismiss ex-Trump campaign chief's money laundering charge

27 Juin, 2018, 06:37 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Judge refuses to dismiss ex-Trump campaign chief's money laundering charge

Manafort's lawyers argued in court filings obtained by CBS News that mention of the president could taint the jurors' perception of Manafort and the accusations against him.

Also on Friday, prosecutors with Mueller's office filed a motion seeking to bar Manafort from arguing he's a victim of vindictive prosecution.

The judge in the Virginia case questioned prosecutors sharply at a hearing last month about whether Manafort's alleged misconduct is sufficiently connected to special counsel Robert Mueller's mandate to investigate the Trump campaign.

Manafort's lawyers filed their motion Friday in federal court in Alexandria ahead of next month's scheduled trial. In that filing, Mueller's team moved for severe limitations on what Manafort's defense team can say to jurors. He stated: "I don't see what relationship this indictment has with what the special counsel is investigating".

Once the case makes it to trial, though, prosecutors said any claim of selective prosecution becomes irrelevant.

But U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said that since Manafort failed to register as a foreign agent, the money he earned wasn't legitimate.

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Attorneys for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort want a judge to bar any mention of Manafort's connections to the president at his Virginia trial.

Manafort is now facing charges of tax evasion in Virginia based on allegations that he hid millions of dollars of income gained from advising pro-Russian political figures in the Ukraine.

The D.C. trial, and the case Mueller's team has been building against Manafort in Washington, relates to Manafort and associate Konstantin Kilimnik's alleged conspiring to get potential witnesses to lie about lobbying work the two men had done on behalf of Ukraine, Bloomberg noted.

Manafort is also charged with conspiracy, two counts of making false statements and two counts of obstruction of justice. His Washington trial is due to begin in September and his Virginia trial in July.

Kilimnik, Bloomberg notes, is alleged to have ties to Russia's military intelligence, having studied at a Moscow military institute considered a training ground for translators working as Kremlin spies.

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