WASHINGTON – A jury is still deliberating Paul Manafort’s future, but even if he’s acquitted his legal battle will only be halfway over.
The former campaign chairman for President Donald Trump is due back in court in Washington next month for a second trial centered on allegations of lying to the FBI, money laundering and foreign lobbying.
This time prosecutors say they have even more evidence – more than double the amount they showed jurors in Virginia.
In a court filing Thursday, Manafort’s attorney said special counsel Robert Mueller’s office has supplied “well over 1,000” exhibits for the trial. In the Virginia case, his office had about 400 exhibits.
The trial is slated to begin in front of U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson on Sept. 17.
The reasoning for the two separate trials stems from where prosecutors say the alleged crimes were committed. The cases in Virginia and Washington could have been combined but Manafort’s attorneys elected to keep them separate.
The New York Times notes this decision could have been made because Virginia leans more conservative, thus possibly more sympathetic to him, and Washington more liberal. The most serious charges Manafort faces are in Virginia for alleged bank fraud.
He could spend the rest of his life in federal prison if convicted on all of the 18 counts lodged against him there. Jury deliberations began late last week.
The charges include five counts of subscribing to false income tax returns, four counts of failing to file foreign bank account reports, four counts of bank fraud and five counts of bank fraud conspiracy.
He could face a maximum of 20 years behind bars if convicted in Washington.
Manafort has denied all the allegations and elected to take on the charges in court while his campaign deputy and close associate Rick Gates pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s team, even testifying against his former boss in Virginia.
Federal prosecutors alleged in the indictment filed in Washington against Manafort that he secretly enlisted a group of “former European politicians,” including a former European chancellor to advocate on behalf of the pro-Russian faction Manafort represented in Ukraine.
Prosecutors have asserted that Manafort wired the unnamed officials more than 2 million euros from his off-shore accounts and tried to cover up their work even while holding a senior role in Trump campaign.
Manafort’s case has been the first taken to trial by the special counsel’s office. The trial in Washington is slated to be the second trial by Mueller’s office.