Mueller given more time to decide whether to retry Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort

The government doesn't know yet whether it will retry Paul Manafort on 10 counts of fraud

Chris Riotta
New York
Friday 31 August 2018 02:01 BST
Paul Manafort
Paul Manafort (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Prosecutors from the US Office of the Special Counsel have been handed an extension to decide whether to push forward with a potential retrial for Paul Manafort.

Judge TS Ellis III, who presided over Mr Manafort’s trial that resulted in eight guilty counts and a mistrial for 10 other charges, gave the government an extension of one week after the court rules on Manafort’s post-trial motions. The president’s former campaign chairman was given one month to decide whether he would file for acquittal or appeal after his initial 21 August verdict.

"Because the defendant’s post-trial motions have not been filed or ruled on, 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," the prosecutors said in their request for an extension.

The judge’s extension grants prosecutors one week after the court rules on Manafort’s post-trial motions to determine whether or not they will retry the remaining 10 counts of bank and tax fraud.

A jury was unable to come to a consensus over ten of the 18 charges Manafort faced.

Donald Trump praised Manafort for "refusing to break" during the trial in a series of tweets that simultaneously attacked his longtime confidant and personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, who separately pleaded guilty to eight counts of financial crime on the same day as Manafort.

Donald Trump calls Paul Manafort 'a good man' following eight counts of bank and tax fraud

"I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family," the president wrote. "'Justice' took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him."

"A large number of counts, ten, could not even be decided in the Paul Manafort case," he continued.

It remains unclear whether or not the government will decide to retry Manafort for the remaining 10 charges. However, even if they don’t, the former campaign chairman faces further legal action.

Manafort faces a separate trial in September, and his lawyers have already begun accusing it of being an unfair process for Manafort.

Defence attorneys requested for the trial to be moved from the nation’s capital, Washington DC, to Roanoke, Virginia, citing intense media coverage.

"The conclusion of that trial, less than four weeks prior to the start of jury selection in this case, presents new and increasingly difficult challenges to Mr. Manafort's effort to ensure a fair jury and fair trial in this case," they wrote in a request.

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