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Manafort pleads not guilty after new round of Russia probe charges

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Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort pleaded not guilty Wednesday to five counts from a new round of charges in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, in his first appearance since a former associate began cooperating with the government. 

Last week, a federal grand jury returned new charges against Manafort and ex-associate Rick Gates as part of the probe into Russian meddling and potential collusion with Trump campaign figures during the 2016 election.

The superseding indictment included conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, failing to register as an agent of a foreign principal and providing false statements.

Manafort pleaded not guilty Wednesday during an appearance in federal court in Washington, D.C. Manafort’s trial date is now set for Sept. 17, 2018.

Paul Manafort leaves Federal District Court in Washington, Monday, Oct. 30, 2017. Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, and Manafort's business associate Rick Gates have pleaded not guilty to felony charges of conspiracy against the United States and other counts. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort pleaded not guilty to the charges in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s superseding indictment brought against him last week.

 (AP)

Manafort had previously pleaded not guilty in the case, but the latest indictment, which mirrored the charges filed against him last October, required him to formally enter a second plea.

He also is expected in court Friday afternoon in Alexandria, Va., where he faces additional charges. 

On Wednesday, Judge Amy Berman Jackson scolded Manafort for making a public statement last week about Gates’ guilty plea. 

She reminded him of an order she issued in October restricting all parties in the case from making public statements. 

“I understand the impulse,” Jackson said. 

Manafort’s attorney Kevin Downing told the court he planned to file a motion opposing the court’s interpretation of a Supreme Court case referenced in her order restricting public statements in the case. 

Rick Gates departs Federal District Court, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, in Washington. Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman for President Donald Trump, and his business associate Rick Gates were in federal court on Wednesday for a routine status conference. Both were indicted in October on charges stemming from foreign lobbying work in Ukraine. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Former Trump campaign associate Rick Gates pleaded guilty to charges brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and faces up to 71 months in federal prison.

 (AP)

In the statement last week, Manafort said: “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. This does not alter my commitment to defend myself against the untrue piled up charges contained in the indictments against me.” 

MUELLER MOVES TO DISMISS CHARGES AGAINST RICK GATES IN RUSSIA PROBE 

Mueller, meanwhile, moved to dismiss a slew of charges against Gates on Tuesday in the wake of his earlier guilty plea. 

The filing indicates Gates’ cooperation with the special counsel team could be yielding good information. Gates has intimate knowledge of Manafort’s years of political work consulting in Ukraine, as well as other events that have sparked the interest of federal investigators.

Gates’ guilty plea pertained to the charges filed against him in October in Washington, D.C., for which he still faces up to 71 months in prison.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Brooke Singman is a Politics Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @brookefoxnews.



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Brexit Britain remains top choice for finance firms – 'Why would anyone move to Paris?'

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THE CITY of London will continue to thrive in Brexit Britain with it remaining a top choice for firms, an independent economist has said.

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Biden will instruct FEMA to establish ‘thousands’ of Covid vaccination centers

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Trump’s leaving the White House, but the party is still his

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WASHINGTON — If you’re Liz Cheney, Mitch McConnell or Mitt Romney, here is your challenge as impeachment moves to a Senate trial: The GOP is still Trump’s party.

At least for now.

According to brand-new numbers from our NBC News poll, only 8 percent of Republican voters support Trump’s impeachment and removal from office.

That’s compared with 50 percent of all voters who say this, including 89 percent of Democrats and 45 percent of independents.

What also stands out: These percentages — overall and by party — are virtually identical to the impeachment/removal numbers for Trump during the Ukraine scandal.

It’s largely the story of the Trump Era: The numbers and partisan divide rarely change, even after an assault at the Capitol.

And just check out the opening paragraphs from this New York Times story.

“In Cleveland County, Okla., the chairman of the local Republican Party openly wondered ‘why violence is unacceptable,’ just hours before a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol last week. ‘What the crap do you think the American revolution was?’ he posted on Facebook. ‘A game of friggin pattycake?’”

“Two days later, the Republican chairman of Nye County in Nevada posted a conspiracy-theory-filled letter on the local committee website, accusing Vice President Mike Pence of treason and calling the rioting a ‘staged event meant to blame Trump supporters.’”

“And this week in Virginia, Amanda Chase, a two-term Republican state senator running for governor, maintained that President Trump might still be sworn into a second term on Jan. 20 and that Republicans who blocked that ‘alternative plan’ would be punished by the president’s supporters.”

If you’re a Republican opposed to Trump — or simply to how he conducted himself before last week’s attack — you’re in the minority of your party.

Back to the virus

Since Jan. 6 — the day of last week’s attack at the Capitol — this country has seen more than 2 million new coronavirus cases and more than 28,000 deaths from the virus.

Think about that again: In a little more than a week, 2 million new cases (!!!) and 28,000-plus deaths.

It’s that context — and presidential void — to view President-elect Joe Biden’s primetime address where he rolled out his $1.9 coronavirus relief package (more on that below).

The outgoing president has been MIA when it comes the coronavirus. So the incoming president has decided to take on the issue head-on before his inauguration.

And today, Biden delivers remarks on administering COVID vaccines to the U.S. population.

Data Download: The numbers you need to know today

23,421,473: The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, per the most recent data from NBC News and health officials. (That’s 237,251 more than yesterday morning.)

389,652: The number of deaths in the United States from the virus so far. (That’s 3,954 more than yesterday morning.)

128,947: The number of people currently hospitalized with coronavirus

275.78 million: The number of coronavirus tests that have been administered in the United States so far, according to researchers at The COVID Tracking Project.

965,000: The latest initial weekly unemployment claims in the U.S.

5: The number of days until Inauguration Day.

Here’s what’s in Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief plan

President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday called for a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package on Thursday, per NBC’s Marianna Sotomayor.

The “American Rescue Plan” includes investments in a national vaccination program, additional direct payments and an increased federal minimum wage of $15 per hour.

“We are in a race against time. We need these resources to vaccinate the vast majority of Americans and to put safety measures in place that will help us put Covid behind us, so that we can reopen our schools, businesses, and once again be able to get there with our friends and family,” one senior transition official said on a briefing call with reporters.

Here’s some of what the plan asks for:

  • Containing Covid-19 and reopening schools by mounting a national vaccination program – Total: $416B. (That amount includes $20 billion for a national vaccination program and $170 billion to for schools).
  • Helping working families struggling from suffering economy – Total: $1 trillion. (That amount includes $1,400 per person direct payments and $400/week unemployment insurance programs for hard hit Americans).
  • Assisting small businesses, including minority business owners. (That includes $350 billion in emergency funding for state, local and territorial governments to pay frontline workers, as well as $15 billion in grants to help hardest-hit small businesses).

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ICYMI: What else is happening in the world

Don’t miss this piece from Benjy Sarlin on how members of Congress are fearful even of some of their own colleagues.

And here’s the Washington Post on how some Capitol Police were battered at the hands of protestors.

GOP Sen. James Lankford has apologized to Black Tulsans for questioning the 2020 election results.

Here’s how Facebook and Twitter decided to make their moves on Trump’s accounts last week.

Biden has selected his deputy CIA director.

And he has picked his new director of vaccine efforts.

Rudy Giuliani may be on the outs with most of Trump World, but he still wants in.

The New York Times talked to GOP state and local leaders all over the country. Many described their devotion to Trump with an almost religious fervor.



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