US: Judge drops some charges against Manafort

By Michael Hernandez


Prosecutors agreed Friday to drop some charges against Paul Manafort as a judge in the state of Virginia set Feb. 8 for the former Trump campaign chairman to be sentenced.

Manafort, who reportedly showed up to court in a wheelchair, was convicted in August of eight of 18 federal charges brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Prosecutors agreed to drop, and the judge dismissed, the remaining 10 charges the jury could not come to an agreement on.

Manafort’s February sentencing will be on the eight charges of bank fraud and tax evasion the jury found him guilty of committing.

Kevin Downing, Manafort’s lawyer, reportedly told Judge T.S. Ellis his client is suffering from “significant issues” with his health as he requested the judge expedite Manafort’s sentencing.

Manafort in September pleaded guilty to two criminal counts in a separate case in the nation’s capital, marking a legal victory for the special counsel investigating Russian attempts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, and possible Trump campaign efforts to assist in the effort.

The plea allowed Manafort to avoid a second trial in exchange for his cooperation with Mueller’s probe.

Manafort’s cooperation includes participating in interviews, handing over documents and possible testimony. He is also ordered to forfeit multiple bank accounts and properties.