Published March 08, 2018
Paul Manafort, President Trump's former campaign manager, pleaded not guilty on Thursday to charges including tax evasion and bank fraud stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.
Manafort did not speak during Thursday’s arraignment. Judge T.S. Ellis III of the Eastern District of Virginia set Manafort’s trial date for July 10.
The grand jury indictment in the Washington suburb of Alexandria, Virginia, accuses Manafort of hiding from the Internal Revenue Service tens of millions of dollars he earned advising pro-Russia politicians in Ukraine.
The charges are part of Mueller's investigation into Russian efforts to influence U.S. elections.
Manafort’s attorney, Kevin Downing, has requested an earlier trial date, telling the judge that looking through his “rosy colored glasses,” he was hoping for a November trial date.
“You should go back to your optometrist,” Ellis shot back.
Most of the charges against Manafort had been filed in the District of Columbia. But prosecutors say they were required to bring these charges to Virginia because they lacked venue in the nation's capital.
Manafort will now have to wear two GPS monitors, one from Washington and another from Virginia.
Ellis, the judge in this case, has sat on the bench in the Eastern District of Virginia since 1987 and has presided over other high-profile cases, including the trial of Louisiana Democratic Rep. William Jefferson and John Walker Lindh, the so-called “American Taliban.”
Fox News’ Jake Gibson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.