Judge postpones Paul Manafort trial until next week

A federal judge has postponed the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

The tax and bank fraud trial had been scheduled to start on Wednesday in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia.

But US District Judge TS Ellis III pushed the trial back until July 31 to give Mr Manafort’s lawyers more time to review thousands of pages of data and documents turned over by special counsel Robert Mueller’s office in the last several weeks.

The documents come from a firm that handled Mr Manafort’s bookkeeping and the electronic devices of Rick Gates, his longtime business associate.

Mr Gates pleaded guilty earlier this year and is expected to testify against Mr Manafort.

Mr Manafort’s trial will be the first arising from Mr Mueller’s investigation into potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential election.

The indictment against Mr Manafort does not focus on his work on the Trump campaign. Instead, it accuses him of funnelling the proceeds of Ukrainian political consulting work through offshore accounts and using the funds to pay for a lavish lifestyle.

Mr Manafort has pleaded not guilty and denied all the charges.

He faces a separate trial in the District of Columbia, where he was indicted last October.

- Press Association

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