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Paul Manafort pleads not guilty to tax evasion, bank fraud

Paul Manafort pleads not guilty to tax evasion, bank fraud

The charges are part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian efforts to influence USA elections.

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 US presidential elections and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

A federal judge in Alexandria on Thursday set a July 10 trial date for Paul Manafort.

Manafort also pleaded not guilty last week in Washington, to related charges, including conspiracy to launder money, and failing to register as a foreign agent for the pro-Russia Ukrainian government of former President Viktor Yanukovych.

Manafort said he will fight the charges despite the fact his longtime aide, Rick Gates, is now cooperating with Mueller's office.

This will be the first of two trials for Manafort this year. It's the second case tied to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation in which Manafort has pleaded not guilty.

Most of the charges against Manafort had been filed in the District of Columbia.

The bearded man stood outside a Virginia courthouse to slam Manafort, who is accused of hiding tens of millions of dollars he earned through consulting work in the Ukraine from the Internal Revenue Service.

The other former Trump associates who have pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors are Trump's former national security adviser Mike Flynn and ex-campaign adviser George Papadopoulos. In court papers, prosecutors said they asked Manafort if he'd be willing to waive venue and have the case consolidated in the District, but he refused. 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.

Meanwhile, at the federal court in Washington, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said she will hold a motion hearing on April 4 to consider whether a lawsuit Manafort against the Department of Justice should be be dismissed.

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.