Trump's ex-campaign chief Manafort to face two trials this year

Trump's ex-campaign chief Manafort to face two trials this year

Trump's ex-campaign chief Manafort to face two trials this year

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Manafort entered a plea of not guilty to the charges, through his attorney Kevin Downing.

A federal judge in Washington has granted a former Trump campaign aide's request to review sealed transcripts of two hearings, held in January and February, related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort pleaded not guilty to a new indictment on Thursday and will have to wear a second ankle-monitoring bracelet until his trial, which could begin as early as July.

Gates and Manafort were both charged with multiple counts of conspiracy, tax fraud and money laundering stemming from lobbying and consulting work related to Ukrainian politicians who are strong allies of Russian Federation. That trial begins in September.

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Prosecutors in Washington have alleged that Manafort laundered more than $30 million and duped banks into lending money. He was sacked in June 2016 after he clashed with other advisers over how to appeal to the broader general electorate after Trump won the nomination. Gates, who also served on Trump's campaign, is expected to provide information about crimes he said he and Manafort committed as business partners.

The judge also pressed the special counsel's team about why it had brought so many charges against Manafort - 18 - and whether the government case could be streamlined.

Citing Manafort's significant wealth, Ellis said the former campaign chairman "manifestly" represented a flight risk in part because of "the substantial period of incarceration" he faced if convicted.

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.

The prosecutor in the case, Andrew Weissmann, said he expects to call 20 to 25 witnesses at the trial.

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