The judge overseeing Paul Manafort's federal court case on charges of tax evasion and bank fraud in Virginia delayed proceedings in a surprise move on Monday afternoon. According to legal experts familiar with the federal court system, this could be an indication that Manafort is about to cut a plea deal.

Henry Hockeimer, a white collar criminal defense lawyer at Ballard Spahr, speculated on reasons for the delay. In an email to Law&Crime, he said: "It could be anything from [Judge Ellis has] already made up his mind and will deny the motions and just push back jury selection to perhaps the parties jointly asked the court for more time because they are in plea negotiations. Matters are not often delayed on eve of trial in the rocket docket without a very good reason. That court moves stuff quickly to trial."

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