Manafort Judge Denies Request to Dismiss Count in Indictment

(Bloomberg) -- A federal judge denied a request by Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman for President Donald Trump, to dismiss one of two counts in an indictment as unnecessarily overlapping.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller didn’t violate the double-jeopardy clause of the U.S. Constitution by charging Manafort with two crimes based on the exact same facts and circumstances, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled Friday in federal court in Washington. Manafort is charged there with laundering millions of dollars and acting as an unregistered foreign agent for Ukraine.

Jackson ruled that Mueller could charge Manafort twice over two letters that he filed with the Justice Department in November 2016 and February 2017 relating to work he did as a political consultant in Ukraine. Prosecutors charged with him with making false statements and a separate count of false statements in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

The duplication “does not significantly affect the overall heft of the indictment” and any harm to Manafort can be corrected during jury instructions, Jackson ruled.

Manafort faces a September trial in Washington, and a separate trial in Alexandria, Virginia, on bank and tax fraud charges. That trial begins on July 24.

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