Camille Fine

A Washington, D.C., judge on Wednesday set a trial date of Sept. 17 for Paul Manafort, just weeks before the 2018 midterm elections, a spokesperson for the former Trump campaign chairman confirmed.

Manafort has pleaded not guilty to numerous charges in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, including money laundering, tax fraud and bank fraud conspiracy.

Mueller last week filed new charges against Manafort and his business associate Richard Gates, who also worked on the Trump campaign.

The superseding indictment charged Manafort and Gates on 32 counts related to income from their work in Ukraine and accused them of engaging in a “scheme” to hide money from U.S. authorities. 

{mosads}Gates pleaded guilty to the charges of conspiracy against the United States and making a false statement to special counsel lawyers, as part of a deal with Mueller to cooperate in the investigation. 

Mueller also recently unsealed an indictment against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities, accusing them of interfering in the election.

Manafort responded to Gates’s guilty plea, saying he had hoped Gates would have had “the strength” to fight the charges and  that he would maintain his innocence.

Manafort and Gates were the first people indicted in Mueller’s investigation when a 12-count indictment against them was unsealed in October. The men initially both pleaded not guilty.

The charges are related primarily to their lobbying work for a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine before joining the Trump campaign.

Updated at 11:15 a.m.

Tags court Paul Manafort Robert Mueller Russia Investigation Special counsel

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