Published: Tue, July 31, 2018
World News | By Joan Terry

Manafort Drops Appeal of Civil Case Against Mueller

Manafort Drops Appeal of Civil Case Against Mueller

It's a significant milestone for the probe, which began exactly two years ago as an Federal Bureau of Investigation counterintelligence inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Gates has since pleaded guilty and agreed to help prosecutors with their case, as one of the government's star witnesses.

The charges stem from Manafort's decade-long lobbying and political consulting work for Ukraine's former president, Viktor Yanukovych.

"Perhaps he believes that he's done nothing wrong, and because he's done nothing wrong, he's unwilling to plead guilty to any crime whatsoever - even if it's a lesser crime", said Jimmy Gurule, a Notre Dame law professor and former federal prosecutor.

Trump has repeatedly denounced the special counsel's investigation as a politically motivated "witch hunt" and denied there was any collusion with Moscow to defeat Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Manafort left Trump's campaign soon afterwards.

Prosecutors are expected to argue that Mr Manafort's lavish spending on suits, homes and luxury items did not match the income declared on his tax returns and that he misled lenders when he borrowed tens of millions of dollars against NY real estate.

His testimony will be significant for "helping to explain how the puzzle pieces all fit together", Little said, particularly as Gates worked so closely with Manafort. Judge T.S. Ellis III of the United States District Court, presiding over the Virginia case, wrote in June that "it is plausible, indeed ultimately persuasive here, to argue that the investigation and prosecution has some relevance to the election which occurred months if not years after the alleged misconduct".

Manafort was indicted along with Gates in Mueller's wide-ranging investigation, but he is the only American charged to opt for a trial instead of co-operating with the government.

NY is kicking Spectrum out of the state for ‘recurring failures’
The company's purposeful obfuscation of its performance and compliance obligations to the state Commission and its customers. In a statement , Charter spokesman Andrew Russell accused the commission's actions of being politically motivated.

It was two years after Yanukovych was ousted from Ukraine that Gates and Manafort found themselves again in close proximity to ascendant power, when they joined (and for a three-month period Manafort led) Donald Trump's 2016 campaign. He was originally hired to secure votes from delegates at the Republican National Convention but was promoted to campaign chairman after Mr. Trump fired Corey Lewandowski in June. However, the government is now recommending that Manafort serve 8 to 10 years if he is convicted.

Manafort, 69, faces 18 criminal counts, which center on allegations that he hid much of the $60 million he earned in Ukraine in undisclosed overseas bank accounts and failed to pay taxes on it.

The judge overseeing that trial, Berman Jackson, revoked Manafort's bail last month and ordered him to await trial from a jail cell.

While jurors will be hearing painstaking detail about Manafort's finances, they won't be told about Manafort's other criminal case, in the nation's capital, where he faces charges of acting as an unregistered foreign agent and lying to the government.

Prosecutors say the evidence is also necessary to illustrate Manafort's relationship with the oligarchs who supported the Party of Regions and who paid him through foreign bank accounts.

Soon after, Mueller's office brought new charges against Manafort, adding counts of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to his case in the District of Columbia.

Mr Mueller's team has estimated it could take eight to 10 days to present its case to the jury, suggesting the trial may last at least three weeks.

Like this: