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Judge rejects Paul Manafort's request to wear a suit to court hearing

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 10/17/2018 Daniel Chaitin
a man wearing a suit and tie: Paul Manafort departs Federal District Court in Washington in April. © (Alex Brandon/AP) Paul Manafort departs Federal District Court in Washington in April.

A federal judge denied Paul Manafort's request to wear a suit to a hearing this week in Virginia.

The former Trump campaign manager had requested to be able to wear a suit for the hearing in Oct. 19 and all subsequent court appearances.

But U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis II ordered Wednesday that Manafort be forced to wear prison attire versus "street clothing."

"This defendant should be treated no differently from other defendants who are in custody post-conviction," Ellis said.

Last week, Ellis ordered prosecutors, Manafort, and his defense team to appear in his Alexandria, Va., courtroom on Friday to address the status of the deadlocked counts and set a sentencing date.

Under a plea agreement reached last month, Manafort pleaded guilty to conspiracy and obstruction charges, and also agreed to “cooperate fully and truthfully” with the special counsel’s investigation. Thus, he avoided a second criminal trial in Washington.

In exchange, the special counsel agreed to drop a handful of other charges against Manafort in Washington, including money laundering and failure to register as a foreign agent. In addition, Mueller’s team agreed that after “successful cooperation,” the 10 bank and tax fraud charges on which the jury was unable to reach a verdict would be dismissed. A Virginia jury convicted Manafort on eight bank and tax fraud charges in August.

Ellis called the D.C. plea deal "highly unusual" and called for special counsel Robert Mueller to file motions to show that Manafort is giving “substantial assistance” to the federal government, and thus deserves a lower sentence.

Manafort has been in an Alexandria jail since July.


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