Paul Manafort rolls into court confined to a wheelchair

Erika Holt
October 20, 2018

From the time he took on the special counsel's financial crimes case against Manafort, Ellis has repeatedly jousted with prosecutors and questioned their motives for bringing the case against President Trump's former campaign manager.

Paul Manafort is set to appear Friday afternoon in Alexandria federal court for the first time since his conviction on eight bank and tax fraud charges.

But the jury was unable to reach a verdict on 10 other charges, including failure to register foreign bank accounts and conspiracy to commit bank fraud, so a mistrial was declared on those.

The jury found that Manafort hid from the IRS millions of dollars he earned advising Ukrainian politicians.

President Trump's former campaign chairman has frequented the special counsel's office to give information about his former business partner and longtime Trump confidant, Roger Stone. But Judge T.S. Ellis expressed concerns about any further delay of the sentencing. The Eastern District of Virginia, known as the Rocket Docket, has a reputation of moving cases along quickly. He wrote in a filing earlier this month that both the prosecution and defense appeared to anticipate that Manafort's sentencing would "be deferred until cooperation was complete".

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Prosecutors and Manafort's lawyers agreed that would be acceptable, and Ellis set the February 8 sentencing date. (It is also possible for charges to be dismissed "with prejudice", meaning they can never be filed again). Ellis' dismissal of the counts does not preclude prosecutors from refiling them at a later date if they choose.

"It was a surprise that silenced the courtroom when Manafort entered in a wheelchair wearing a green jumpsuit", she said.

But in court, defense lawyer Kevin Downing said Manafort hoped his personal health situation would improve once Manafort came under custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons.

The document release Friday comes after The Associated Press requested access to the documents and an attorney acting for the wire service and other news outlets got involved.

Prosecutors accused him of hiding from USA tax authorities $16 million United States he earned as a political consultant for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine to fund an opulent lifestyle, and then lying to banks to secure $20 million in loans after his Ukrainian income dried up and he needed cash.

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