Donald Trump's ex-aide Paul Manafort pleads not guilty again, faces July trial

VIDEO: REUTERS

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia (REUTERS) - US President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort pleaded not guilty on Thursday (March 8) to additional criminal charges stemming from the investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election and will face trial in July.

Manafort pleaded not guilty in a Virginia courtroom to charges ranging from bank fraud to filing false tax returns that were brought by Robert Mueller, the US special counsel for the Russia probe.

Manafort also pleaded not guilty last week in Washington DC, to related charges, including conspiracy to launder money, and failing to register as a foreign agent for the pro-Russia Ukrainian government of former President Viktor Yanukovych. That trial begins in September.

Mueller is investigating alleged Russian interference in the election, possible obstruction of justice, and alleged financial crimes by Manafort and others.

Trump has denied his campaign colluded with Russia, and Moscow says it did not try to interfere in the election.

Manafort has been under increasing pressure to cooperate with Mueller, especially after his former business partner and former Trump deputy campaign manager Rick Gates pleaded guilty last month to lying to investigators and conspiring to defraud the United States.

Also on Thursday, another of Trump's former campaign managers, Corey Lewandowski, was interviewed by the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, which has its own investigation into possible Russian election meddling.

Lewandowski helped Trump win the Republican presidential nomination, running his campaign for around 18 months. He was fired in June 2016 after he clashed with other advisers over how to appeal to the broader general electorate after Trump won the nomination.

Manafort then ran the campaign for several months.

The federal judge in Virginia set July 10 as the start of Manafort's trial.