Prosecutors said the case against Manafort and Gates filed in Washington in October will continue, although it appears a few charges from that indictment are being moved to the Virginia case. Defendants in tax cases have the right to insist on being charged in their home district. Mueller’s team said they were willing to consolidate the case in Washington, but Manafort declined to agree to face those charges in Washington, according to a separate court filing prosecutors made public Thursday.Manafort’s decision is yet another signal that his defense is playing legal hardball with the prosecution, complicating and potentially prolonging their work. However, his decision to elect two separate, parallel cases will also increase the complexity and cost of the legal defense for both Manafort and Gates.“It’s an absolutely untenable situation for defense attorneys,” said Peter Zeidenberg, a former federal prosecutor now with Arent Fox in Washington. “It’s literally twice the work. It’s twice the money. It’s two different judges.”Some attorneys believe Manafort’s approach indicates he is hoping for a pardon from Trump. Taking a tough line with the prosecution and prolonging the case could stave off a potential reckoning in court, after which the president could step in. However, this strategy means sustaining a costly legal defense for what is likely to be more than a year.“That’s what makes this a freakishly unusual case,” said Patrick Cotter, a former federal prosecutor. “You aren’t usually thinking, ‘What if my client gets a pardon?’”Gates’ legal team has been in flux recently, with his existing lawyers, Shanlon Wu, Walter Mack and AnneMarie McAvoy, seeking to withdraw for reasons that have not been explained publicly. Gates does not appear to have the same financial resources as Manafort and could have more difficulty sustaining a defense. In all, Manafort and Gates laundered more than $30 million in income, chiefly from their Ukraine work, the new indictment alleges.None of the charges currently facing the pair appears to relate directly to the core of Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign. But the special counsel has jurisdiction to pursue certain crimes he finds in the course of his probe and appears to have approval from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to pursue some matters the FBI was investigating before Mueller was named last May.Some of the alleged bank fraud appears to have overlapped in time with the Trump campaign. Manafort and Gates joined the campaign in the spring of 2016 to help plan for the Republican National Convention, and Manafort was campaign chairman from May until he resigned on August 19. But the White House has subsequently tried to distance itself from him, with Trump saying at one point that Manafort only worked for him for a “very short period of time.”Gates reportedly continued at the campaign after Manafort left, although precisely what Gates did during that period is unclear.The scrutiny of the pair so far has focused on their lobbying work on behalf of the Ukrainian government and former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych from 2006 to 2015. The initial indictment claimed they generated tens of millions of dollars through that work, which was then laundered through “scores of United States and foreign corporations, partnerships, and bank accounts.”Prosecutors claim in the new indictment that Manafort made various misrepresentations to obtain loans, including forging profit-and-loss statements for his consulting businesses. Longtime Washington defense lawyer Thomas Green of Sidley Austin formally entered an appearance in the case Thursday and consented to the other lawyers departing.Green has a reputation for negotiating plea deals in high-profile cases, but Cotter said he believes that if a plea deal with Gates was imminent, prosecutors would not have pulled the trigger on the new indictment.“It’s very hard for me to imagine a scenario where they had any agreement with Gates for cooperation and then they filed a superseding indictment. That doesn’t make any sense,” said the ex-prosecutor, now at the Greensfeder Hemker law firm in Chicago.Still, the detail in the new indictment about Gates alleged involvement in crafting false financial statements for Manafort’s loan applications adds even more pressure to Gates to cut a deal, lawyers said. While the alleged money laundering in the first indictment is complex and the obligations to register as a foreign agent can be highly technical, the new indictment may be easier to prove to a jury because the alleged fraud is easier to understand.“It’s cruder,” Cotter said. “It’s got a lot of jury appeal … The detail in the superseding indictment sends a message to him that if the case sees the inside of a courtroom with a jury, there’s no way you get acquitted. You’re going to be chopping away at an iceberg with a toothpick.”Kyle Cheney contributed to this report. Special counsel Robert Mueller turned up the pressure on former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and aide Rick Gates, as a federal grand jury returned a new indictment Thursday charging the two men with tax and bank fraud.The new 32-count indictment returned by a grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia comes after Mueller separately charged the pair in Washington last year with money laundering and failing to register as foreign agents for their work related to Ukraine.The new indictment accuses Manafort and Gates of dramatically understating their income on federal tax returns filed from 2010 through 2014. The pair is also accused of bank fraud totaling more than $20 million tied to three loans Manafort applied for in connection with various homes he owns. Also On POLITICO Ex-intelligence chief predicts ‘other shoes to drop’ in Mueller probe By Cristiano Lima Mueller: Russians entered US to plot election meddling By Michael Crowley and Louis Nelson Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni issued a statement Thursday night denying the latest charges.“Paul Manafort is innocent of the allegations set out in the newly filed indictments and he is confident that he will be acquitted of all charges,” Maloni said. “The new allegations against Mr. Manafort, once again, have nothing to do with Russia and 2016 election interference/collusion. Mr. Manafort is confident that he will be acquitted and violations of his constitutional rights will be remedied.”No new defendants were charged in the latest indictment, but it alleges that the men had a “conspirator” at at least one of the lenders from which Manafort obtained the loans.In response to one of the profit-and-loss statements provided in connection with a loan request, the unnamed “conspirator” allegedly replied that the document was too obviously faked.“Looks Dr’d. Can’t someone just do a clean excel doc and pdf to me?” the indictment quotes the bank employee as replying.Based on the description of the loan in the court document, the lender appears to be Providence, R.I.-based Citizens Bank. A spokesman there declined to comment on Thursday.