U.S. seeks more time to decide on ex-Trump aide Manafort’s retrial on 10 charges

Last updated on September 26th, 2018 at 05:59 am

(Reuters) – U.S. prosecutors on Wednesday asked a judge for more time to decide whether to retry former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on 10 criminal charges that a jury deadlocked on last week.

Wednesday was Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s deadline to decide but the government said that Manafort lawyers’ request for a 30-day extension to file their post-trial motions made it difficult to meet that deadline.

The prosecutors said in a filing in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, that they would like the deadline extended to one week after the court has ruled on Manafort’s motions. Manafort’s lawyers do not object to a delay, the prosecutors said.

The charges include seven counts of bank fraud and three counts of failing to disclose foreign bank accounts.

“The government does not at this time have sufficient information to make an informed decision on whether it will seek retrial of the remaining counts,” prosecutors wrote.

Manafort was found guilty on eight counts, including all five charges that he submitted false tax returns. The jury deadlocked on 10 charges because of a holdout juror. The charges largely predated Manafort’s brief tenure on Republican Trump‘s campaign in 2016.

The verdict was the first courtroom victory arising from Mueller‘s investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and possible coordination with Trump campaign members. Russia denies interfering in the election and U.S. President Donald Trump denies any campaign collusion.

In a second trial in Washington scheduled for next month, Manafort, a longtime lobbyist and Republican political consultant, faces seven criminal counts that include allegations of money laundering and obstruction of justice.

Manafort‘s lawyers are seeking to move the trial to Roanoke, Virginia, arguing they could not get a fair trial in Washington because of negative media coverage and a political bias against their client.

(Reporting by Lisa Lambert and Nathan Layne; Additional reporting by Makini Brice; Editing by G Crosse and Grant McCool)

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