US prosecutors drop some charges against Paul Manafort

Special Counsel Robert Mueller leaves a meeting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington

Report: Mueller Ready To Issue Findings On Two Key Questions In Trump Probe

Democrats have called the meeting with Rosenstein part of a Republican effort to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible co-ordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election.

On Thursday it was announced a judge ruled Manafort - who was convicted of 8 counts of bank and tax fraud in August - would not be permitted to wear one of his signature, custom suits for the hearing.

The jury found that Manafort hid from the IRS millions of dollars he earned advising Ukrainian politicians. "We need to get to the bottom of these very serious claims".

Prosecutors had wanted to wait until Manafort's cooperation was complete before proceeding to sentencing, where he could face as many as 10 years on the Virginia charges. The more typical procedure in the district is to proceed with sentencing.

"The judge agreed to sentence Manafort but not until February 8th", she said.

However the charges were dropped the charges without prejudice, meaning the prosecution could reintroduce them at a later date, giving them further leverage over Manafort.

Manafort looked frail and had a foot elevated in a sock as he was wheeled in and out of court wearing a jumpsuit that read "ALEXANDRIA INMATE" on the back.

Manafort is now cooperating with prosecutors and that had been delaying his sentencing date.

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.

Judge Ellis was not inclined to give prosecutors an additional extension to decide whether to refile the ten counts that jury deadlocked on in his courtroom.

Also Friday, special counsel prosecutors and Manafort's attorneys released several years of Manafort's tax returns. The transcript of the proceeding will be released to the public after a review by the intelligence community to scrub any classified information.

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.

Latest News