Mar 27, 2018

Paul Manafort files motion to dismiss Mueller indictment in Virginia

Paul Manafort. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Paul Manafort's legal team has filed a motion to dismiss the indictment, filed in Virginia, brought against him by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, which includes three charges for tax fraud from 2010 to 2014, failing to file reports from his foreign bank accounts, and bank fraud related to various property loans in the U.S.

Why it matters: Rick Gates, Manafort's former business partner and President Trump's former deputy campaign chairman, pleaded guilty to financial fraud and lying to investigators. Manafort has not followed suit, and his second motion to dismiss suggests his team is playing the long game — even though they recognize they're going up against a Special Counsel with massive resources Manafort can't possibly match.

This follows a nearly identical motion to dismiss his team filed on March 14, which dealt with the charges brought against him in D.C.

Manafort's legal team argues that the charges do not “arise directly from” the Special Counsel’s investigation. His team argues that they cover things Manafort disclosed to the DOJ himself in 2014. They also write that Mueller's team acted outside of its authority, “without the discipline of limits on the public resources they consume," according to the document.

"I continue to maintain my innocence," Manafort wrote in his initial statement after Gates pleaded guilty on Feb. 23. "I had hoped and expected my business colleague would have had the strength to continue the battle to prove our innocence. For reasons yet to surface he chose to do otherwise."

Key line from Manafort's statement, which is reflected in his legal team's second motion to dismiss: "This does not alter my commitment to defend myself against the untrue piled up charges contained in the indictments against me."

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