Former Trump campaign chief faces arraignment in Virginia


US President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort pleaded not guilty on Thursday (March 8) to additional criminal charges stemming from the investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election and will face trial in July.

Mr. Manafort entered the plea in Alexandria, before District Judge T.S. Ellis III of the Eastern District of Virginia.

The charges are connected to work Manafort did for a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine.

The charges were brought as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

During his arraignment last month, Judge Amy Berman Jackson cautioned that there could be "overlap" in both cases against Manafort as they head to trial. Last week Manafort pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and money laundering charges and a federal judge in Washington, D.C., set a trial for September 17.

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Separately Thursday, an April 4 hearing was scheduled before a federal judge in Washington in Manafort's civil lawsuit challenging Mueller's appointment as special counsel, which the government has moved to dismiss. It is expected to last eight to 10 days. Downing said the charges against Manafort go beyond the authority of Mueller's mandate, and advised the judge he will move to dismiss the case on those grounds.

In a separate development Thursday, another former Trump campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, met with the House Intelligence Committee for a second time as part of the panel's Russian Federation investigation. For legal reasons, he has two cases in two courts.

So far, more than 100 charges have been filed against a 19 people and three companies.

In Washington, he faces counts of conspiracy to launder more than $30 million (U.S.), making false statements, failing to follow lobbying disclosure laws and working as an unregistered foreign agent.

Manafort is innocent of the Virginia charges, his spokesperson Jason Maloni said in a statement after the indictment was announced. He faces up to 15 years on the charges of filing false tax returns and up to 20 years on the charges of failing to report foreign bank accounts.