On Thursday, Trump’s former campaign chairman discovered he will be forced to strap on a second GPS-tracking device. This follows a visit to a Virginia federal court, where Paul Manafort pleaded not-guilty to fraud charges.
The second GPS tracker is at the request of Manafort’s Virginia probation officer, who says she won’t have access to his D.C. based tracker. This is due to technological limitations. Manafort lives in Virginia but was charged in D.C. on other charges.
US District Judge T.S. Ellis III decided that Manafort was a flight risk due to his vast financial resources and the seriousness of the charges. Like the judge in D.C., he ruled that Manafort could remain under house arrest.
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There was a disagreement in the court as to when the trial would take place. Manafort’s defense attorney was hoping for November while the prosecution wanted mid-May. The defense told the judge if he were wearing “rose-colored glasses” then the date would be in November. The judge replied, “Well, you need to go back to the optometrist.” He continued, “That ain’t gonna happen.”
Manafort’s charges in Virginia include an 18-count indictment that was handed down from a grand jury in Alexandria. This is on top of the indictment that he received in D.C.
Meanwhile, Manafort has a civil lawsuit against the Justice Department and Special Counsel Mueller. The suit alleges that Mueller’s appointment is invalid and that he has gone beyond his scope. However, Manafort’s attorney says this suit isn’t an effort to have the charges against his client dropped. The Justice Department has asked that judge to dismiss the suit.
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