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Paul Manafort pleads not guilty to tax fraud, other charges

Last Updated Mar 8, 2018 10:43 PM EST

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia -- Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort pleaded not guilty to 18 counts of tax fraud and other substantial tax charges in the Eastern District of Virginia federal court Thursday. Judge T.S. Ellis III set the trial date for July 10, and released Manafort on the same $10 million bond package for the case being tried against him in the District of Columbia.

Manafort's lawyer, Kevin Downing, had asked for a trial date in November, citing the complexity of the case. Prosecutors said they were ready to start the trial in May. Ellis picked the July date, though he did not foreclose the possibility of granting an extension to the defense if warranted. Downing also asked Ellis for more time to prepare before trial, citing the "broad conspiracy" that the government is waging against Manafort. He also reminded the judge that the defense is filing a motion to dismiss the charges in the District, which is due March 14.

Most of the charges against Manafort have been filed in the District, where Manafort is scheduled for trial in September. But prosecutors say they were required to bring the tax and bank fraud charges in Virginia because they lacked venue in the nation's capital. 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.

The 32-count indictment issued by the Alexandria grand jury accuses Manafort of laundering $30 million through offshore accounts, to disguise income he earned from his work in Ukraine and shield it from federal taxes. The indictment also accuses him of bank fraud, saying that when his income from the Ukraine dried up, he lied on mortgages and loan applications about his finances.

Ellis also questioned the efficiency of running simultaneous prosecutions in the District and Virginia, though he acknowledged that Manafort could not be forced to waive his right to be tried in the proper venue. Downing also told the court that Manafort is considering bringing the conspiracy charges to be tried in the Virginia court. Judge Ellis replied that "it would make sense if you try it all in one district, but I'll leave it up to you all."

The charges are part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian efforts to influence U.S. elections. 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. He already has filed a civil suit in the District, making the same argument.

Manafort has a May 25 status hearing, and a June 29 hearing on motions. The trial is scheduled to start July 10, and the government expects the trial to last 8-10 days. 

Ellis deemed Manafort a flight risk, and even though he has doubts about the reliability of GPS monitoring, he ruled that Manafort can remain under the same bond agreement as his D.C. package, with home confinement and electronic monitoring. Manafort now wears two electronic monitoring brackets, one for D.C. and one for the Virginia court. He is to ask the court for any permission to leave his home for religious, medical or counsel appointments, and the judge must also be advised. Ellis said he would be less likely to approve travel to New York for Manafort.

CBS News' Clare Hymes contributed to this report.