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Mueller’s Revenge? Special Counsel Won’t Rule Out Going After Manafort in Third Trial


Special counsel Robert Mueller has asked for more time to decide whether he and his prosecutors will attempt to retry Paul Manafort on 10 criminal counts that caused the Virginia judge to okay a partial verdict.

The latest from the desk of the special counsel indicates that Mueller may not be entirely satisfied with the how things panned out in Judge T.S. Ellis III‘s Eastern District of Virginia courtroom, as he has reserved the right to request more time to make his next move.

“The United States of America, by and through Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III, hereby files this motion to extend the date by which the government must notify the Court whether it intends to retry or dismiss any or all of [10] Counts […] in the Superseding Indictment,” the Wednesday filing reads.

Indeed, the Virginia jury could not come to a concensus on the counts referenced above because of a lone holdout.

The jury found Manafort guilty on five tax fraud counts, two bank fraud counts and one count for failing to report foreign financial accounts. Jurors could not come to a consensus on three additional counts of failure to report; nor could they decide on the remaining seven bank fraud and bank fraud conspiracy counts against Manafort.

The reason this request was able to happen — with the approval of Manafort’s defense attorneys, no less — is that the defense asked for 30 days after the jury’s guilty verdict to explore post-trial motions.

Team Mueller did not oppose this, but in return Team Manafort is not opposing Mueller’s motion.

“Because the defendant’s post-trial motions have not been filed or ruled on, the government does not at this time have sufficient information to make an informed decision on whether it will seek retrial of the remaining counts,” the filing continues.

In other words, Mueller et al. are going to wait and see how Manafort’s attorneys intend to proceed before they will make a decision on retrial or dismissal of the 10 counts in question.

Mueller consequently asked the court for 10 days to respond to Manafort’s post-trial motions, since today was the original deadline set by Judge Ellis.

The special counsel said it has spoken with Manafort’s attorneys and they do not object to this extension.

Manafort’s second trial, the one in Washington, D.C., is scheduled to begin on Sept. 24.

[Image via Alex Wong/Getty Images]

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.